what is this?
Call Me A Nerd is a kid’s music project instilling confidence and leadership skills in children ages six through eleven (kindergarten – 5th grade). This is the age when they are establishing their social position in the world around them. Through songs and music, we teach children to embrace exactly who they are, be it nerd, athlete, musician, or geek. We are picking up where Free To Be You And Me left off. When a child really gets to know and accept themselves, they walk strongly in this world. This personal strength can help them excel in social, academic and athletic situations – and even disarm the bully.
Jonathan Grossman is an award-winning composer and performer. Since his graduation with a B.A. in Music from Cornell University in 1991, he has dedicated his life to music both as an indy recording artist with his band, Dogwood Moon and as a television composer, Joan of Arcadia (CBS). Call Me A Nerd is his first children’s music record and the start of the Call Me A Nerd Project which will expand to in-school seminars and children’s animated programming.
Willie Aron is an award-winning film and television composer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. His score for the independent film The Curiosity Of Chance won Best Musical Score at the 2007 Nashville Film Festival. Aron has performed and recorded with acclaimed artists such as Phoebe Snow, Rickie Lee Jones, Van Dyke Parks, and Peter Himmelman. In 2007, he and Himmelman co-produced a children’s album, My Green Kite, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album of 2007.
why do a kid’s record?
My songwriting has always had an inspirational approach. Through self-producing six records, my deepest, personal goal has been to create lasting, positive change in the world. The songs ask big questions, encouraging adult listeners to think about issues such as integrity, gratitude and social accountability. The fans responded, so I released 6 records during the last 15 years including, Dogwood Moon (1996), Call to Infinity (1998), Come and Go (2005), Carousel (2007). In the recent past, I realized that I could be more effective by directing my music to a new demographic. I want to address those minds that don’t need to be changed but rather informed and nurtured to grow in a healthful direction. I want to help instill self-confidence and leadership in children at the very age when they are establishing their social position in the world around them.
I am a father of two wonderful children, Owen (6) and Piper (3), and I relish taking part in the day-to-day parenting. Observing how they learn (and how I learn from them!) is one of the great joys of my life. Through this intimate relationship with my own children, I noticed that music was one of the most effective teaching tools there is. Ideas they didn’t understand during our talking were effortlessly absorbed through song. This inspired me to start writing songs for this project. The focus of the record is to encourage the growth of confidence and personal power. With songs like, Go Ahead, Call Me A Nerd, This Is Who I Am and Shine, I am encouraging the children to celebrate exactly who they are, even in the face of a world that creates self-doubt. My goal is to make a modern day rock version of FREE TO BE YOU AND ME. The record is scheduled for a July 2012 release.
the bigger picture
In addition to this record, my focus is on creating a leadership curriculum that centers on personal expression through music, compositional writing, group discussion, and effectiveness exercises.
I am looking to interview and collaborate with progressive child educators, psychologists, and developmental experts to create this program. Our discussions would determine the best topics to explore, (e.g. bullying, self-confidence) and how to most effectively teach and communicate with children in an honest, sincere, and respectful way.
The other day I played my song “This Is Who I Am” for my six-year-old son. Afterwards, he said it had the same message as Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream”. First, it made me smile that he understood the song. Then it made me proud that at 6, Owen understands the vision of MLK. Yes!
One child at a time….