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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Baby Blanket Music {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

When my son “Ralph” was a newborn, I spent a LOT of time in my rocking chair. He ate every 3-4 hours, and ate for an hour each time, so I felt like I was permanently glued to that chair. I had a CD player in his room and would turn on quiet, soothing music so I could stay awake while feeding him, especially in the middle of the night. I sure wish I had known about Baby Blanket Music back then!

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Baby Blanket Music takes your favorite artists (Madonna, Michael Jackson, John Mayer, etc.) and turns their songs into music suitable to listen to while your baby is drifting off to sleep. Rad, right? Baby Blanket Music was created by Josh Rutt, a teacher, composer and performer.  He noticed that there was room for improvement in the quality of baby music available when his close friends started having kids, so he set out to create a line of music that would appeal to not only babies, but parents and grandparents as well. Each music CD pairs familiar baby sounds like vibraphones and music boxes with classical instruments to create a sound that is soothing, calming, but never annoying.

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I chose to review the Michael Jackson CD, and I loved it! This is DEFINITELY meant to be soothing, lullaby-type music, so I don’t recommend operating any heavy machinery or trying to think too much while listening. But it will be a joy to listen to at night or in the wee hours of the morning when trying to soothe your little one to sleep. Every song on the CD is an MJ Hit, and even slowed down and set to a music box, I couldn’t help but groove and sing along! Some of my favorites include “Bad,” “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” and “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough.” I like that he throws in little things that aren’t purely orchestral, like the high notes Michael Jackson would hit at the end of songs. It makes you feel like you are listening to an actual version of his music (much slower, obviously) instead of a hollow, dentist office karaoke track. I know I will be glued to this CD with my next baby!

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In addition to MJ, Baby Blanket Music has made CDs of music by Madonna, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, John Mayer, Elton John, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and Garth Brooks. Definitely an eclectic collection but one that can satisfy any music lover. Don’t see your favorite artist here? Tell them which CD you want, and they just may create it!

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Baby Blanket Music CDs are sold online for $14.99, on iTunes and in select retailers nationwide. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll be the first to know about new artists or great deals!

You could win a Baby Blanket Music CD of your choice!

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of October 8th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Baby Blanket Music, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Bear Hunt CD {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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When I was in junior high, I was a total dork, but I thought I was totally cool. I loved The Aquabats, a super quirky ska band who is now associated with the show Yo Gabba Gabba and has their own TV show on the HUB network. I went to their concerts dressed in sparkly skirts I found at thrift shops, fishnet tights, Converse, and did my hair in Princess Leia-style buns on top of my head with sparkly pipe cleaners sticking out of them. I actually did a dance number to one of their songs at our school talent show with my friend and she and I wore almost that exact ensemble, plus super-hero capes. Just because. I am not quite so dorky and bold these days, but I have held onto my love for a good ska/punk beat. Lucky for me, there are ska/punk/pop bands that I can listen to with my kids without worrying about bad language or inappropriate themes, and Josh and the Jamtones is one of them!

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Josh and the Jamtones has an impressive pedigree. They are all graduates of Berklee College of Music and have been together as a band since 2011. They are a sought-after group in the children’s music scene and have played at such acclaimed places as The Regent Theater, The Coolidge Corner, Earthfest, Fenway Park and have even opened for The Wiggles! Their first album, JUMP UP!, features the song “Iko Iko,” which sat at the top of Sirius/Xm’s Kids Place Live chart for 13 weeks! Check out this video and see for yourself how much fun they are having and hear how rad their music is!

Their second CD, set to release October 1st, is titled Bear Hunt, and I was sent this CD to review.  It is a fun, zany album that features ten musical numbers interwoven with silly narratives about the band’s adventures while going on an actual bear hunt. And of course it references the beloved book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” with phrases such as “we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it…we have to go through it!”  The narratives were funny, but sort of distracting when all I wanted to do was listen to some good tunes. Josh and the Jamtones are known for mixing their styles and this CD did not disappoint! Some of our family’s favorites included “Swing Low,” a New Orleans street music-style cover of the famous spiritual; an alt-country version of “Green and Spakkled Frogs” (this one was my son’s favorite); “Everybody Dance,” a reggae/ska number that really got us moving; and “Snow Day,” a pure ska tune that had me skankin’ in my living room and reliving my junior high days (only the good parts, of course) 🙂

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Bear Hunt is a ton of fun and definitely a great CD to listen to with the kids. It didn’t even feel like “kids music,” just good music to listen to with your kids. The band recommends the album for kids ages 4-7, but my 2- and 3-year-olds loved it, as did I!  The CD will be available October 1 for $9.99 and can be purchased at JoshAndThe Jamtones.com (click here to pre-order the CD now), CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, Spotify, Rhapsody and iTunes.

Win a copy of Bear Hunt today!

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of September 30, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Josh and the Jamtones and Waldmania PR, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Hootenanny CD {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Ask my mom where she grew up and she’ll tell you Compton, with an air of hardness to her voice (for those not familiar with Los Angeles, Compton is now a really scary, gang-infested city). Back in the 60s when my mom was living there, it was actually a really nice place, but she likes to tell people she’s “from the ghetto” even though she’s the epitome of a white suburban housewife. She also has family from New Orleans, and she still tears up when she tastes a real, Southern-style cup of gumbo.  What can I say–she’s proud of her roots! And the band Jambo is out to make today’s kids proud of their roots, too!

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Jambo is a self-proclaimed “roots-based” band that strives to bring an appreciation for different styles of music to its audience of kids. Their “roots” include music from the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans street corners and Chicago juke joints. Jambo’s creator, Steve Pierson, says he wrote two kinds of songs for the album, “full blown band tracks and what I call ‘back porch tracks.” He used at least 10 different guitars throughout the album’s 14 songs–I didn’t even know there was more than one kind of guitar! Talk about learning some music appreciation!

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Jambo’s music is inspired by kids and a desire to bring them back to their roots, so all of the songs are full of positive messages that encourage imagination and learning. I loved that about this CD–I could throw it on for the kids and not worry about the messages they were hearing or the language that was being sung. Everything was happy, silly and good-natured fun. Here’s a fun fact about the band: the band’s vocalist, Melinda McGraw, has been in movies and TV shows such as The Dark Knight, Men of a Certain Age, and Mad Men! Random, but cool. I loved her soulful addition to the band’s sound.

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The CD was super fun. My kids and I had a blast dancing around to the tracks and rocking out. Our favorite by far was the title track, “Hootenanny.” The message was great, but the beat was even cooler. Their songs reminded me of eating at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que (do you have those near you? Delicious.) or any other Southern style restaurant where they have live blues/bluegrass music playing throughout the restaurant. I’ve always been a big ska music fan, so some of the tracks with heavy horns (“We are all One Kind,” “Let’s be Friends”) reminded me of ska and had me skanking in the living room (sorry, no video or pictures of that). Other tracks had a softer side, like “Be Yourself” and “Smile,” which were nice to sway and swing to. The Blues-y “Don’t Play With Your Food” was hilarious, and “Ice Cream Soup” was a highlight for us.

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Hootenanny is Jambo’s second CD. Their first, Lucy’s Parade, won both a Parent’s Choice® Award and a Los Angeles Music Award, and Hootenanny has been named one of People Magazine’s “Best Kids Albums Now!” But don’t just trust them, or me for that matter–go out and buy one yourself to see how great their music is! Hootenanny can be purchased at Amazon.com, cdbaby.com and iTunes. Also, if you like going to live concerts, they’re big in the kids music scene and frequently tour, so check out their website to see if they’ll be in a city near you!

Enter below to win a copy of Jambo’s Hootenanny!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of September 2nd, 2013,  and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Jambo and Waldmania PR, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Recess Music {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My family and I LOVE music. I love to sing and dance, my husband plays the piano and sings, and our two kids have definitely inherited our love of music. My kids know most of the (appropriate) Top 40 hits on the radio because we like to listen to them in the car and then dance to them at home. And while I’m somewhat proud that my 3-year old knows all the words to Maroon 5’s Payphone, I’m much happier when he can sing all the verses to “Book of Mormon Stories” (did you know there are eight?!?) because I know that he’s learning songs that have meaning and values. Recess Music was created with this exact sentiment in mind.

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Recess Music was created by Nancy Doan, a mother, wife and minister who wanted to make the world a better place by teaching morals and values through music (sounds like my kind of lady!). Recess Music has the twin goals of teaching environmental awareness through its “Celebrate Earth” series, and social empathy through its “Best Foot Forward” series of recordings.

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We received the newest CD from the Best Foot Forward series, Gratitude Attitude. Heather Ann reviewed Share! from the same series back in April, and we enjoyed our CD just as much as she did. There are 15 songs on the disc, and each is by a different talented kids’ musician. The overall feel is very chill, which is great for those times you just need something soothing playing in the background while you’re cooking dinner and the kids are playing on the floor. But there are a few tunes that are get-up-and-dance songs, and those were my kids’ favorites!  Here they are rocking out to “In My Family’s House.”

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All of the songs teach kindness, manners and gratitude in a way that is subtle and sometimes funny but never too in-your-face. My favorites are “There’s A Pea On My Plate,” “Thank You Letters,” and “Use Your Napkin Not Your Mom”–so true, right?! The website says it best:

 “The music on Gratitude Attitude was chosen with an eye to helping children understand that their attitudes are just as important as their actions in bringing harmony and understanding to their classrooms, neighborhoods, and homes (emphasis added).”

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This is definitely a CD worth owning to help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude and kindness. Gratitude Attitude won’t be released until August 27th, but can be pre-ordered at recessmusic.com for only $9.99! It will be available for $12.99 at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, iTunes and brick and mortar retailers throughout the U.S. after August 28.

Until then, you can enter to win a copy of Gratitude Attitude for you and your family!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of August 10th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Recess Music, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Miss Nina / Recess Music / Young Avenue Kids {FOUR Giveaways!} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I have played the piano since I was four years old, taught piano lessons for 10 years, and enjoy singing in choir and small groups, so people always assume that I really like music.  While it’s true that I am usually most touched by music and that I enjoy creating music, I’m not overly creative and I’ve never been the type to stay very up-to-date on new bands.  It took me a while to even figure out who the Backstreet Boys were when I was in high school, and I watch Gilmore Girls and just know that Lane would be so incredibly disappointed in me.

I know of several people who have complained about listening to kids music after becoming a parent, but we haven’t had that same sentiment.  I think part of that reason is because some of the kids music is so fun for parents, too!  We were sent a couple of CDs to review, and we all love all of them.  It’s not uncommon for one of us (especially the boys!) to break out in one of these songs over the past couple of weeks.

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“Sha Doo Be Doop” from Miss Nina is my four-year-old’s favorite CD, and we have been known to sit in the van just a little longer after getting home to finish listening to the song from the “Miss Nina” CD.  My favorite part of this CD is the literary connection, and we were lucky enough to already own all three of these books so we could read them while listening!

Nina Stone has established a reputation for creating engaging songs inspired by some of her favorite children’s books.  On Sha Doo Be Doop kids can sing along with Miss Nina to Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? or groove to “The Brown Bear Rap,” based on Bill Martin’s classic children’s book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  A particular treasure is “Wild Things,” an interactive ode to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, in which kids can gnash their terrible teeth, roll their terrible eyes, show their terrible claws, and get up and jump when the “wild rumpus” starts!”

Here’s a free download of Miss Nina’s “New Alphabet” song, found on the Sha Do Be Doop CD (giveaway below!).

We also received two CDs from Recess Music — Share from their “Best Foot Forward” series and La Bella Stella from their “Celebrate Earth” series.  SHARE_Cover_72dpi_1500x1404

“All the songs on Share! celebrate sharing and generosity as key actions for bringing harmony and understanding into classrooms, neighborhoods, and homes.  The album features 15 tracks that showcase contributions by some of today’s most gifted kids’ musicians, including Renee & Jeremy, Dog on Fleas, Ben Rudnick & Friends, Charity and the JAMband, and Noel Paul Stookey (“Paul” of the legendary folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary).”

We were especially excited to listen to the “Give Said the Little Stream” song by Inside Out since it’s a song that we’ve learned since we were young and a band we know and love. 

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“This album of children’s music features many contrasting styles and teaches kids about galaxies, solar systems, and other wonders of our universe.  These songs were chosen for LA BELLA STELLA because they engage, educate, entertain, and encourage children to think about the natural setting of their lives to balance the ‘virtual’ world they live in.”

My oldest son was enthralled with the solar system and planets before he got on his instruments and United States kick, so he was especially excited to see this CD!  Some of the songs on this CD have a slower tempo, so we really like this one to put in his CD player at night.

Whatever I Want To Be Cover Art_ 300 dpi   “Whatever I Want To Be takes off in grand style with everyone singing the “rocket ship” lyrics to the fanfare from Franz von Suppé’s “Light Cavalry Overture” and proceeds in jolly fashion to “The Orchestra Families,” which employs a marching tune by Johann Schrammel to capture the thrill and excitement of an outing to a symphony concert. Other highlights include the clever lyrics of “The Gorgeous Butterfly,” which grace a Johann Strauss march, and the galloping tune from Rossini’sWilliam Tell Overture,” which finds new life as the humorous “William Tell Is Oh So Swell.” 

I have really loved this CD!  I taught a music camp in my home over the summer for a couple of years, and I know that this would be a perfect addition to that program, should I decide to hold another one.  I love introducing my boys to classical music at such a young age in such a fun way.

If you’re looking for some fun and engaging CDs to add to your kids’ music library, I would highly suggest these ones! 

Each of these CDs is available for as a giveaway item here at Dandy Giveaway — be sure to enter to each Rafflecopter widget to enter to win each one!  

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** This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of April 10th and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Miss Nina, Recess Music, and Young Avenue Kids, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

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