Values in Song
Values in Song - Catchy Songs For Kids The Values in Song CD features eight upbeat songs based on the Australian Federal Governments Values in Education programme, currently being implemented across all Australian primary schools. Endorsed by the Australian Minister for Education as a valuable resource in the education of values in schools, the songs on the CD capture a fun way to teach young children the concepts of care and compassion, doing your best, fair go, freedom, honesty and trustworthiness, integrity, respect, responsibility, understanding, tolerance and inclusion. Governments worldwide are now recognising the need to teach values in school above and beyond the normal academic curriculum. International Values Education advocate - Neil Hawkes (UK) spoke at a recent gathering of primary school principals and teachers in Newcastle, Australia which we attended. He related how he had just met with British government ministers at 10 Downing St to speak with them on the subject of Values Education in schools. We had the opportunity at this same gathering to present our product, which was not only very well received, but Mr Hawkes expressed his great enthusiasm on the availability of such a high quality educational resource. Phil and Jodi Tweed live in the Hunter Valley, near Newcastle, Australia and started their own business in 2004 called Style Music. Phil has been a record producer, professional musician, singer and songwriter for many years, and Jodi is now the Events Manager for Hunter Valley Gardens - the largest display gardens in Australia. They have five children, and in 2006 felt that while their four youngest children were all at the same primary school (Plattsburg Public School, Wallsend, Newcastle) at the same time, it would be a good idea to write a musical. They collaborated with Elizabeth Oliver, one of the teachers at the school, her husband Peter, an actor and church minister, as well as Marty Worrall, a well known celebrity singer/songwriter in Australia. After a long process of brainstorming, they all felt it would be good to take the federal governments focus on Values Education, and write a full musical based on it. 'sPlat was the result. 'sPlat tells the story of a colony of self centered platypus (Australian native animals) who feel that they are unique, that there is noone like them, and that they are better than everyone else. When a group of ducks are forced from their homes because of duck shooting season, and end up trying to get some help from the platypus colony - the selfish platypus refuse to help them and send them away. In the commotion, one of the ducks leaves an egg behind, which is discovered by the young platypus Plat. Plat starts to wonder why they are so selfish, and decides to embark on a journey to return the egg back to it's rightful owner. On Plat's journey, she meets many other animals who she finds share things in common with the platypus, and she discovers that they are not so unique after all. A representative of each animal group (wombats, echidnas, hens, penguins) join her on her search for the ducks. She finds them, and finally returns with the ducks and the other animals back to the platypus colony, where she convinces the rest of the platypus that they really should have a better attitude to the other animals around them. In November 2006, the entire student body of Plattsburg Public School presented 'sPlat over two nights to packed audiences. The staff and teachers from the school were also fully involved, and the musical was received extremely well. We have since received many reports from teachers and parents who are finding children not only still singing the songs, but using lyrics from the songs in their play and in conflict resolution, both in the playground and amongst siblings. Our heart is to see these songs being sung by children everywhere, so that they can learn more about solid values that make a strong society. Singing simple songs is a highly effective way of teaching, because lyrics and melody tend to stick in the memory a lot easier than pure information, and children tend to respond better in a positive learning environment than when they are 'lectured'. So we have tried to make the resource as accessible as possible - hence the production of the Values in Song CD. We recognise that not all schools are able or willing to stage a full musical such as 'sPlat, but the songs however can easily be used in the classroom situation, in school choirs, in the home, as items in concerts etc. So we took the eight songs from the musical that directly relate to the Values curriculum and put them on the CD so that it can be used as a resource independantly from the musical. We have also included the backing tracks for all 8 songs on the CD, so that they can be used in a variety of situations. Phil produced all the music in the Style Music studio, and the four young Tweed children feature as vocalists on most of the tracks.