Songwriter brings global view to Bradt

Singalong engages students during Earth Week and teaches them about the environment


Students at Brandt Primary school sang about polar bears, great white sharks and dolphins during an Earth Week assembly Monday, April 19.

Author and singer/songwriter John Farrell hosted a singalong concert for the students that invited them to use hand gestures to act out Earth-friendly songs about lions, tigers, bears, eagles and sharks.

Farrell travels around the world to promote topics such as tolerance, respect, and protecting the environment. Brandt first-grade teacher Melanie Weinlein, who helped to coordinate the event, said the musician has a wonderful way with the kids and gets them to be a part of the concert.

Here at Brandt, we love the Earth. This is the perfect age group to expose the students to what it takes to reuse, reduce and recycle, she said. "Mr. Farrell is awesome. He is able to captivate the students and get them to participate and sing along."

Farrell encourages students to growl and flap their arms like birds during the songs. Not only are the students having fun during the performance, but they are also learning about the wildlife and habitats.

During a song about the great white shark, Farrell brought up students from the audience to participate and used them to illustrate shark facts by having them distance themselves from one another to show the size of an adult great white shark (about 6 meters).

Brandt Principal Arlene DiSiena said the school has asked Farrell back over the years because of his wonderful way with the kids.

Farrell, who has worked as a singer/songwriter since 1991, has traveled to more than 17 countries to teach and educate students from kindergarten through eighth grade in song. With seven albums and three books, Farrell has been awarded a Parent's Choice Silver Honor Award and a Dove Foundation Award for "The Great Earth Sing Along." He has also created the Bridges of Peace and Hope charity, a nonprofit organization that helps students and teachers to create collaborative creative arts programs in education projects to promote understanding, respect and non-violent solutions internationally.

Farrell said he was impressed with the students and teachers at Bradt.

"It's very evident that the staff here are committed to students as learners and as citizens," he said. "They work on character, and it's very evident."


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