Welcome to Kid Pan Alley
Imagine if you were a child writing a song in your classroom with a professional songwriter. Then suppose that your song was recorded by a world-class recording artist like Delbert McClinton, Cracker, Sissy Spacek, Amy Grant, Kix Brooks, Suzy Bogguss, Corey Harris, or Raul Malo. You’d be changed forever. You’d have learned about teamwork, the value of everyone’s ideas, embracing diversity and collaboration through the group songwriting process. You might start writing songs to express your feelings rather than striking out in anger. You’d feel really listened to and proud of what you had done. And just imagine that this was the most fun you ever had in school. Well, this is what Kid Pan Alley is doing in schools throughout the country—inspiring kids use their imaginations—to be creators of their own music, not just consumers of popular culture. We’ve written over 2,200 songs with more than 32,000 children and we’ve got to say kids make the greatest co-writers. Come on inside and hear some of their creations. And, if you are so inclined, help us bring Kid Pan Alley to your community..
June 17, 2013, 2013:
Voice of America reporter, Mark Snowiss, has just finished his story on Kid Pan Alley's recent songwriter in residence program at Orr Elementary School in Washington, DC. You can see the story here.
June 11, 2013, 2013:
WMRA, the NPR station in Harrisonburg (90.7 fm), interviewed Kid Pan Alley's Artistic Director, Paul Reisler and songwriting assistant Heather Mae last week. Listen in as Tom Graham, host of Virginia Insights, shares the Kid Pan Alley story with listeners.
April 11, 2013:
We would like to thank the Jacquemin Family Foundation for their generosity. They've just announced a $10,000 challenge grant to Kid Pan Alley! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet this challenge - so help us meet our match by spreading the word - or better yet - donate!
April 11, 2013:
We are singin' in the rain this April! We're overjoyed to announce that we've finally met our match! Our challenge grant match, that is. A big shout out to all of our supporters who helped us reach this milestone, and of course, to the wonderful folks at the William & Mary Greve Foundation.
Songwriting Residency: May 20 - 24
Benjamin Orr ES, Washington, DC
Music of Art Residency w/ the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Camp Creativity: August 12 -16
For more information, and to sign up for this wonderful creative adventure that combines songwriting, choreography, and visual art, please Click Here
Heidi Johnson Taylor, Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts (April, 3 2012)
"I have had the pleasure of working with Paul Reisler and Kid Pan Alley the past two years at Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts in Richmond, VA. The program has been a wonderful addition to our music curriculum. Throughout the song writing process, the students are taken on a journey of discovery that ignites their imaginations and ability to create. The experience of working with professional musicians that help turn their ideas into works of art is truly remarkable. I have witnessed students who might have difficulty connecting to the world around them, find their voice and learn how to use it. I was particularly touched as one student created a beautiful and complex melody line. This student has not shown this type of ability in the past, and this self-discovery has produced a better level of engagement in the weeks afterward. It is also a joy for me to be able to join and help the students and find that I become lost in the magic of the process myself.
The performance that culminates at the end of the week is such a great example of what can be accomplished in a short amount of time through focused and collaborative work. The students experience the wonder of sharing their creative endeavors with a willing audience. We were also able to connect parents to the program who were able to share their musical talents during the performance.
Overall, I am consistently impressed with the level of work the students produce. We continue to use the songs and the students continue to sing them with a sense of pride and accomplishment. The song written by our 2nd graders last year has become our school song and perhaps an anthem for our overall goals. I also discuss the song writing process with the student after performance. Many expressed the notion that it was difficult, but they could do it! The concept that “we can do something hard” is of upmost importance and is taught so well through this process of creation.
Paul is a talented, wise and calming individual who patiently guides both the students and myself to the heart of what it means to create music. His years of varied experience contribute so beautifully to the final product. It is my sincere hope that our school can continue to benefit from this program. As a music educator I am keenly aware that many of my students will never experience guided music learning once they leave the 5th grade, and it becomes an elective and not a requirement. It is my desire to instill a sense of lifelong knowledge, enjoyment and passion for music."
Kid Pan Alley Blog • February 16, 2013.
I recently attended a conference where my dear friend Kathy Mattea was the keynote speaker. The title of her presentation was "The Arts: Remembering Who We Are." She talked about how the arts are the way we learn about ourselves and our communities--about how the arts are the way in which we can express the deepest parts of ourselves that are so... Click Here
donate click to listen
I had such a great time with Kid Pan Alley this past week at MM Pierce ES!! I was able to see students who are normally very shy and reserved come out of their shells and gain confidence to speak up and sing out. This program is amazing and presents the students with such great opportunities! Thank you for a great week and a wonderful opportunity for our students.