Thursday, February 24, 2011

Musical Notes: Music industry news and releases for children and teens

Playing Guitar’ photo by Petr Kratochvil
Welcome to “Musical Notes,” the first weekly column on this site dedicated solely to music. Like our Friday “Popcorn Report,” which features the latest information on movies, this column will be highlighting current news and announcements in the music industry, and introducing you to the best of everything in CDs, music videos, games, instruments and upcoming performances for children, teens and families. Be sure to check back each Thursday.

Music News

The soundtrack for the highly anticipated upcoming film, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES is set to release nationwide from Walt Disney Records on May 17, 2011

The ON STRANGER TIDES soundtrack features first-time collaboration with Oscar®-winning composer Hans Zimmer and the highly acclaimed guitar duo from Mexico, Rodrigo Y Gabriela

“We’d always felt it a creative necessity that the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 4’ score have an original sound all its own and to distinguish itself from the first three films.  With the inspiring addition of Rodrigo y Gabriela’s unique artistry under the direction of maestro Hans ‘Long John’ Zimmer, this iconic score franchise take its next step forward with an imaginative, fresh and individual new sound,” says Mitchell Leib, President of Music and Soundtracks for the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group and Disney Music Group.

Zimmer is one of the film industry’s most respected and sought-after composers whose credits span more than 100 film and television scores, and his works have also been honored with two Golden Globes® and three Grammy Awards®. 

Rodrigo y Gabriela, considered the premier guitar-playing duo in the world having sold over one million albums, their appearances have also sold out venues around the globe. In 2010, they were invited to share the stage with Beyonce for a state dinner at the White House. 

Walt Disney Pictures’ and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN; ON STRANGER TIDES,” with screenplay by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, suggested by the novel by Tim Powers opens in theaters May 20, 2011, in Disney Digital 3D™.

Musical Instruments

If there’s a child in your life who has taken a serious interest in learning the violin, one of the most trusted online resources for all-things musical for children, Music for Little People is currently having a sale of Anton Breton Violins

These are complete violin packages, which include not only a beautifully well-crafted instrument that produces a fine solid tone, but comes with wooden bow, strung with white horsehair, a Featherweight® case, and a FREE ($14.98 value) CD of the Parents’ Choice Honors/ Oppenheim Gold Award-winning recording, Celebration of Classical Music.

Violin sizes range from 1/16 to 4/4, and Music for Little People provides information on “How to Choose the Correct Size Violin,” along with tips on installing the bridge as well as care and upkeep of the instrument.

All violin packages normally sell for $120.00 but are currently on sale for $99.98 and include the bonus CD.


Rattle On – The Rattles Band

Tony Caio, whose animated programming has garnered prestigious Cine Gold Eagle and National Education Association awards is the creator of The Rattles Band, a charming “animal collective rock band,” whose music echoes the sounds of The Beatles, a bit of Monkees, some Moxy Früvous and They Might Be Giants with a touch of British Invasion. Caio has brought together a music CD,  Rattle On  that kids as well as parents find entertaining.

Formed in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 2008, The Rattles (comprised of four musicians, Gus (lead vocals), Kitty (drums), Sal (guitar) and Hal (bass) released their first studio album, Rattle On.

The website for these entertaining creatures encourages and demonstrates the important qualities of friendship and teamwork all based on solid musicality.

Rattle On is available to sound sample through where MP3 individual downloads for each of the nine tracks are $0.99, or $8.91 for the album. The full CD is priced at $10.43.

Frances England’s Mind of My Own

The San Francisco Chronicle dubbed her the “Queen of indi-folk children’s music,” and with her unique voice and gentle style, Frances England has released another fine recording on the children’s music scene, Mind of My Own

A recipient of the prestigious 2007 Oppenheim Platinum Music Award for her first CD, Fascinating Creatures, and a Parent’s Choice Gold for the 2008 release of Family Tree, England continues on her successful climb offering up easy listening for children and families.

Mind of My Own features a special guest appearance by Mates of State.

Below for your listening pleasure are sound samples of all 15 tracks of Mind of My Own.

The complete 37-minute CD is available direct from the artist’s website for $14.99, or MP3 download for the entire album for $8.99 or $0.99 per track through To hear sound samples of England’s previous releases, visit the Frances England iTunes page where all three CDs are available in MP3 downloads at $0.99 per track.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate that Bobby Susser writes music appropriate for little ears that is easy to follow and learn; this helps children build their confidence in music and movement. In his new album, WO!, the clips I heard sound like they are also fun for adults in an upbeat rock 'n' roll way...I think it'll also make a good gift for teachers, parents and even/especially grandparents! I like to use his special occasion songs like train rides, zoo trips, birthdays, 4th of July for home videos, too! Clips on Amazon or his site at