If you have kids, or teach, or were observant when you were a kid yourself, you know that kids learn in all different ways. Some are happy to sit quietly and read a book, some need the visual input from photo and video and some want to sing and dance their way to learning the material. Fortunately for all of these types of learning, Michael Hearst of the Unusual Creatures Project has just released his first episode of "Songs for Unusual Creatures", a video series full of music and an accompanying book to help kids (and adults) learn about some of the interesting creatures in the world! My kids would have LOVED this series when they were younger!
Watch the introductory video about the adorable and elusive Aye-Aye here:
Michael is a musician himself and how cool is it that the famous Kronos Quartet from San Francisco is helping him out in the first video? I especially appreciate that there is an interaction with the musicians in the video, asking for some musical interpretation, creating a music and natural science collaboration. This demonstration is a great message to send to kids, that the world is not neatly compartmentalized into the topics they teach at school, but rather a flow and blending of many aspects at any given time, and the introduction of a bit of the classical music world is extremely important in a day when that music is rarely heard by some children on a day to day basis.
The music and video series are meant to be accompanied by the book, "Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of Earth's Strangest Animals". You can also purchase the album for long car rides or for playing day to day!
This sounds like a great idea for birthday gifts for the young kids in your life. I can think of a few in my life who would love this. In addition, I will alert my local library to its existence and perhaps you should, too.