AMERICAN HEROES #3
iParenting Media Award "Best Products" Winner!
"Jonathan Sprout's American Heroes #3 is a collection of highly produced pop rock tunes that sound a bit like Bon Jovi and The Jonas Brothers meet James Taylor. His sophisticated sound is rich with intricate, interweaving counter melodies and a full assortment of instruments, including walls of electric and acoustic guitars, pop synth sounds, banjos, mandolins, accordions, horns and various keyboards." The GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles, CA
"Jonathan Sprout’s American Heroes #3 delivers another rich punchy packet of diversified heroes including Wilma Rudolph, George Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, John Muir and Pocahontas to name just a few. The songs are hip and happening - finely produced and performed tributes to some brilliant folks who have left a strong imprint on our society. Perhaps American Heroes #10 will have a nod to Jonathan Sprout! Yes indeed, learning can be a memorable experience." John Wood, Kidzmusic.com
MUSIC Review by Fred Koch
"Teachers and parents often ask children to name someone they would consider a hero. Television reporters often cite public servants who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help fellow citizens. And on Jan. 15, the world witnessed the heroic work of Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who saved countless lives as he masterfully piloted his crippled US Airways airplane into the Hudson River.
But too often children think of celebrities as their heroes. As parents and teachers, we need to help children differentiate between stardom and heroism. We look up to celebrities for their talent. Heroes we look up to because of their deeds.
Jonathan Sprout has made it his mission to educate children about some of America’s heroes. Sprout has just released the third CD in his American Heroes series, another collection of awe-inspiring songs designed to inspire children.
Sprout follows the same format for "American Heroes #3" as he did on his critically acclaimed projects, "American Heroes" and "More American Heroes." Once again Sprout collaborated with Dave Kinnoin (another outstanding children’s songwriter and musician). Once again they crafted a collection of exceptional songs that spotlight such outstanding Americans as Jane Addams (Nobel Peace Prize), Elizabeth Blackwell (first U.S. female doctor), George Washington Carver (agricultural scientist), Cesar Chavez (civil rights activist), Milton Hershey (chocolate king/philanthropist), Thomas Jefferson (third president), John Muir (conservationist), Pocahontas (peacemaker), Wilma Rudolph (Olympic gold medalist) and Jonas Salk (polio vaccine).
You know some of their stories of pain and struggle, heartache and perseverance. But these musical biographies are also filled with the power of imagination, selfless acts and remind us of the courage it takes to be true to your heart and passionately follow your dreams.
I have written many times about what separates good children’s music from great children’s music. It is in the subtle and often-unseen musical artistry present in a well-crafted project. "American Heroes #3" is another fine example.
Take the first song, "Chocolate King," for example. "Believe and never stop/Keep your eyes on the mountaintop. /A little bump in the road doesn’t mean a thing/To the Chocolate King." Pretty simple and even somewhat clichéd, right? But the magic comes when Sprout links the lyrics with a melody and accompaniment that support and propel the song into rock anthem status. This song reminds me of the old Fleetwood Mac song, "Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow."
Each song is a self-contained lesson that soars well beyond what we might think "educational" music for children might be. Again, the reason is Sprout makes these stories come to life by judiciously and strategically using the magic of melody and the power of brilliant musical arrangements to support each song. You will also appreciate the fact that the liner notes contain an informative summary about each American hero.
In addition to all of the fabulous musical biographies contained in "American Heroes #3," there are two "bonus" songs. My favorite, "Good For Me," could be interpreted from several points of view (child to parent, citizen to hero), but I see the song as a soundtrack to a teacher’s end-of-the-year slide show about her class. Here’s the chorus: "It’s good for me that I found you/To be that special someone I can look up to/You’re with me now, and you’ll always be/Yes, you’ll always be good for me." This powerful song is a perfect culminating sentiment for such a magnificent collection of songs about individuals who started out as regular people and ended up as heroes.
I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you to buy Sprout’s first two CDs, "American Heroes" and "More American Heroes." Be sure to go to his web site for more information. Look for the link to CD Baby where you can hear 30-second clips of each song.
And remember, you too can be a hero to a kid!"
NEWSOUND KIDS E-REVIEW
The pages of history are filled with men and women who have followed their dreams, harnessed their bravery and used their ingenuity to make the world a better place. With the music of Jonathan Sprout, kids get the opportunity to meet these inspiring figures through a wildly creative set of songs that turns history class into a rockin' good time. AMERICAN HEROES #3 offers kids a chance to learn about chocolatier Milton Hershey through a song that promotes believing in one 's self and reaching for success. The power of determination in the face of adversity is highlighted in "He Will Not Give Up," about polio vaccine developer Jonas Salk, and "Can't Stop Running" is dedicated to Wilma Rudolph, who became a star athlete, despite being physically handicapped. The instrumentation is upbeat and uplifting, with warm acoustic guitar, a little rock guitar, energizing rhythms and a touch of brass in places. Fellow singer/songwriter Dave Kinnoin joins in the writing of several of the album's songs. Nominated for "Best Children's Music" album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Winner of 2009 Parents' Choice Recommended Award and the 2009 iParenting Media Award
School Library Journal (Starred Review March 2010)
**American Heroes #3. CD. 44:27 min. Prod. by Sprout Recordings. Dist. by CDBaby.com. 2009. ISBN 0-9677954-2-7. $12.99."Gr 1-5–Award-winning singer-songwriter Jonathan Sprout is back with his third collection of fun, inspirational songs about American heroes. Using a variety of musical styles on this Grammy Award nominated album, he honors the legacies of Jane Addams, Elizabeth Blackwell, George Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, Milton Hershey, Thomas Jefferson, John Muir, Pocahontas, Wilma Rudolph, and Jonas Salk. Some of the songs are very straightforward in their focus, while others are slightly more obscure. All, however, have terrific melodies, are eminently singable, and contain important lessons children need to learn about perseverance, having a dream, standing up for what is right, and caring for others. Even the instrumental piece “Compassion” evokes strong feelings of warmth and love. “Doctor” (Elizabeth Blackwell) is particularly delightful and inspiring. The steady beat of running feet can almost be felt in Rudolph’s homage, “Can’t Stop Running.” The song celebrating the life and work of Cesar Chavez, “Si Se Puede,” will find a happy home in most music teachers’ repertoires. The quality of both the singing and songwriting is excellent, and all the songs are great musical tie-in to classroom lessons on real-life heroes as well as character education units.– Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA"
"Delightfully inspiring songs ... The arrangement and lyrics of songs like "What He Wrote," "Pocahontas" and "Si Se Puede!" are uniquely strong and enhanced by beautiful melodic voices that resonate enthusiasm, entertain and capture our imagination. What makes "American Heroes #3" exceptional is the lyrics that celebrate extraordinary people.
The wonderful tempo and lyrics of "Good For Me' is poignant. It reaches the very heart of believing you can be the hero of your dreams.
(The CD is) full of wonderful tunes about great people who inspire children and the child in all of us ... Delightful ... Fascinating..."
Janet Stokes, Chief Executive, Film Advisory Board, Inc.
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American Heroes #3
Click here to listen to a sample song from this CD
Jonathan Sprout sings catchy original folk-style tunes that tell the stories of some of our nation’s heroes. Here he gives tribute to Thomas Jefferson, George Washington Carver, John Muir, and more. Sprout Recordings, $14. Ages 8 and up.
MetroKids In Review
"Share this remarkable musical series with teachers you know."
Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm onWXPN 88.5 FM.
"He catches the essence of each person's challenges, inspirations and triumphs in bright lyrics and melody. The urge to sing along is irresistible. Sprout proves that music for children can be fun, educational and well produced, and the many awards he has earned for this series affirm his vision."
It is always great fun to listen, watch or read something that your children enjoy and so do you. You know it is a struggle to listen to Itsy Bitsy Spider 30 times in one car ride (Thank God we are past that stage)!
The twins and I received American Heroes #3 by Jonathan Sprout. We had a fantastic listening and learning from the CD. Check out a sample of the sound tracks below. My personal favorite was the Chocolate King which tells the story Milton Hershey. The twins, of course, fell in love with Pocahontas (which we listened to about 10 times in a row), lol.
I was not sure how the girls would react to the part story-part song style of #3. Overall it went very well. Initially they wanted to just scroll through the tracks until till we reached Pocahontas. After urging them a bit…they started listening to the entire CD. They started asking questions about the songs and characters. Which was educational for me as well…as I didn’t know the answers to some question and had to research it a bit. All worth it as it is great to see their little minds open up and their willingness to learn. Great for home school, book report prompts and open discussion on historical figures.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
With catchy, up-tempo beats and learning-lyrics, American Heroes #3 by Jonathan Sprout is a must have for any family.
This CD makes learning American History fun, plus how many history lessons can you dance to? I found myself bopping to the beat and the chorus lyrics sticking with me long after the music stopped – my favourite is Peanut Man it’s silly, fun, and true!
I had a blast reviewing this CD and you’re kids are sure to love it too. Jonathan Sprout and his crew of talented muscians and singers brings history to life in a whole new way.
In addition to great educational songs, this CD also comes with the lyrics and a quote from each person of history the song is written about. This is a wonderful learning tool for any age of child – start them young. They’ll love the rockin’ tunes and be learning all at the same time. And unlike other kids’s CD’s this one won’t drive you crazy.
America Heroes #3 ~ Jonathan Sprout
Any American History teacher would do well to have the three current volumes of American Heroes CDs. ... Jonathan Sprout's music has the thoughtful and narrative quality of a Broadway musical. ... great educational merit to go with enjoyable, evocative music.
Nick (inthenickoftimemusic), Coconut Grove, FL
"Jonathan Sprout does a fantastic job talking about the lives of these American Heroes in a way that children can understand and get excited about, without talking down to kids."Cool Music For Smart Kids
NAPPA and Parents' Choice award-winning artist Jonathan Sprout’s latest release American Heroes #3 is, as one would presume, full of songs about American…um…heroes. Though I’m solidly Canadian, we actually learn a decent amount of American history up here. (In our igloo schools). (This) is packed with fun & upbeat songs about some of America’s finest. Like Pocahontas - I learned a lot listening to this CD. Music and a history lesson all rolled into one makes for kids who actually remember the content after the test. This would be great in a classroom! It’s not all serious though. Tunes like “Chocolate King” about Milton Hershey offer up some education and an equally large dose of entertainment. The songs all have great hooks that reel kids in & make the lyrics memorable. Think we can convince him to come north for a while and make one for us Canucks?
“… Inspires children not only with the endeavors that brought these individuals to prominence but the personality traits that made their successes possible. Although the carefully researched biographical anecdotes and historical facts are primarily for the enjoyment of elementary and middle school students and their families, the stories of these remarkable lives are an inspiration to all ages.”
Posted by: PEAdmin
Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
"... a great job with the instrumentation of each song ... this album is very easy for adults to listen to ... would make history class a lot more fun and memorable for kids!"
TDmonthly’s Music Expert, Which Albums Hit the Right Notes
WXPN 88.5 KIDS CORNER, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Jonathan Sprout delivers another rich punchy packet of diversified heroes with his latest CD American Heroes # 3 - including Wilma Rudolph, George Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, John Muir and Pocahontas to name just a few. The songs are hip and happening - finely produced and performed tributes to some brilliant folks who have left a strong imprint on our society.
Inspirational and fun!, January 25, 2009
By Karen K. Bartholomew (Teaneck, NJ USA)
Jonathan Sprout's music is infectious. His hooks memorable and singable. This collection of songs about inspirational Americans is educational and moving. I learned something about those I recognized, and was moved by the stories of those I'd never heard of. The variety of styles keeps the whole album interesting. Every song has a different character. I recommend it highly for young and old alike!
Jonathan Sprout takes his music and makes it educational with a rock and roll beat!... This CD is more than just kids music, it is educational music that tells the story of some very important people.... Jonathan finds a way to make the words and music flow while truly telling the story so that children can recall the important facts! ... What a great way to learn about the past!
Parents will enjoy the fact that this music is easy to listen to! Jonathan Sprout has a nice, smooth voice and uses several different instruments and styles to help capture the emotion and importance of what our American Heroes accomplished! ... These (songs) would be great for parents to help get their kids a jump start for loving history!
"Hip and fun songs and lyrics."
Jonathan Works Wonders Again, January 20, 2009
My fifth graders have been waiting for Jonathan's new "American Heroes #3" album for several weeks now and they were NOT DISAPPOINTED. I have been teaching for ten years and Jonathan's songs completely energize and captivate my students every year. His music not only entertains, but TEACHES you about REAL HEROES! Countless parents have told me his CD's have worn out their car stereos. Catchy tunes and educational lyrics...for all ages. Way to go Jon! Another "instant classic!"
Another great CD by Jonathan Sproutauthor: Dr. Dennis Denenberg
Once again, Jonathan has created awesome songs about REAL heroes and their achievements. His mastery of what they did and their heroic qualities capture the human essence of these incredible men and women. Kids and adults will not only learn about these heroes; they will find themselves singing along! Bravo.
Irene Bellamy at HappyHealthyFamilies.com
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