Hap Palmer Talks to BAM! Radio

October 23 2010
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Hap Palmer

I’m thrilled to tell you about a wonderful educational resource for families and education professionals called BAM Radio Network.

Bam’s co-founder and renowned educator, Rae Pica, recently invited to be part of an interview on Bam with legendary music educator Hap Palmer. Hap is an innovator in the use of music and movement to teach skills and encourage the use of imagination for kids. His music has received numerous honors. Hap’s music was always a big part of my work as an elementary music educator years ago, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with him and the host of the show, Maryann Harmon!

Here’s a link to the show. I hope you enjoy it!

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Thank you, from Debbie and Friends

July 14 2010

This is a special thank-you video to all of our fantastic fan families who have been so supportive of Debbie and Friends! Thank you for the wonderful memories. There are lots more to be made!

I hope you enjoy it!

-Debbie

Nickelodeon Parents’ Pick Awards 2010

July 8 2010

I’m so excited to tell you that we’ve been nominated for the Nickelodeon Parents’ Pick Award! We’re in the top 5, and WE NEED YOUR VOTES to win!

Please click the link below to vote. You can vote once a day through Aug. 30!

Nominated for best kids’ music cd. Vote now!

You are the reason we’ve been nominated. Thank you so much for your support of Debbie and Friends! Please vote!

Opposite - A cartoon in development

June 24 2010

Here’s a sneak preview of our new animated music video in the works. It’s based on one of our favorite songs, “Opposite.” Check out how well the guys in the band can dance!

This is a pre-production teaser, and features the amazing animation work of Greg David and Goichi Hirata from Planet Sunday. It also features the wonderful character design work of Robert Heath of Barkley Studios. The final version should be out by the end of the summer.


The band and I hope you enjoy it!

-Debbie

We need your vote!

May 31 2010

Click here for to vote for Debbie and Friends!

We’re so excited to be in the running for Best Kids’ Music CD in Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks Awards! We need your help to be in the running for a 2010 Award. We need your vote to be officially nominated! Please click the link above to vote on the Parents Picks web site. You can nominate us as often as you’d like, every day, from now until July 3! Thank you! -Debbie

Earthfest 2010, Boston, May 22 @ 11am

May 14 2010
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Debbie & Friends on the Kids Planet Stage 11am!

Please join us on Saturday, May 22 @ 11am on the Esplanade in Boston for Earthfest 2010! It’s a FREE event and there are all kinds of fun things planned for kids and families in the “Kids Planet” zone including environmental activities, games, and of course… musical performances!

Here’s a link to more information.

The band and I look forward to seeing you there! Don’t forget: we go on at 11am!

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The Debbie and Friends Band

March 27, CD Release Concert!

March 24 2010
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The Debbie and Friends Band

Dear Friends,

What’s better than a Debbie & Friends Concert at the Regent Theatre?

A Debbie & Friends CD Release Concert at the Regent Theatre!

Please join us this Saturday, March 27th at 10:30am. The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA.

We have a great show in store that you won’t want to miss! In addition to our fantastic band, we have lots of surprises:

- Darcel Wilson joins us on vocals
- Sue Lindsay joins us on sax and flute
- We’ll perform with one of our cartoon music videos
- And, we’ll be raffling off copies of the new CD (signed by everyone in the band!), t-shirts, and more!

Don’t wait! Call for tickets 781-646-4849, or order online here.

I hope to see you at the show!

Debbie

Debbie & Friends Remix Contest

February 26 2010
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Calling all Kids (and their Parents): Create a Debbie and Friends Remix in GarageBand and enter your remix to win some great prizes!

Here’s a chance to try your hand as a record producer. Between now and April 4, families can play around with the tracks of “Willy Won’t,” a new song from our forthcoming CD, More Story Songs & Sing Alongs, to create their own version.

It is easy to enter the contest at http://debbieandfriendsremix.ning.com/.

Contestants may download the Garageband file to the song “Willy Won’t” from the contest site, and load it into their GarageBand app on their Mac computer. The family mix engineers can then record additional tracks, raise or lower the volume on existing tracks, add special effects, and add their own special touches to create a unique version of “Willy Won’t.”

Contestants must submit their remix entries by Sunday, April 4th, as instructed on the contest site.

All entries will be considered, and the winner will be announced on Monday, April 5th. The winners will receive great prizes from Debbie and Friends including CDs, music instructional books, t-shirts and other great gear. The winning remix will also be featured on this blog.

Here’s the original version.

Let’s hear what yours will sound like! Good luck!

MEDIA CONTACT:
Beth Blenz-Clucas, Sugar Mountain PR
(503) 293-9498 beth@sugarmountainpr.com

Berklee’s New Kids/Family Concert Series

January 2 2010
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Berklee College of Music is kicking off a brand new a Kids/Family Concert Series beginning this Saturday, January 9th with Debbie and Friends!

The shows will be held in Berklee’s newest performance venue, The Red Room at Cafe 939 located at 939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids, and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Buy 10:00am show tickets here.

Buy 11:30am show tickets here.

Everybody goes home with Debbie and Friends’ tattoos and a free new song download card!

In honor of this new series, the Cactus Club is offering 20% off lunch entrees for anyone with a Debbie and Friends’ concert ticket! The Cactus Club is in the same building as Cafe 939, so you won’t even have to put on your coats to go to lunch!

The band and I hope to see you on Saturday!

- Debbie

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Debbie and Friends

Debbie and Friends Interview on Zooglobble

June 18 2009

Stefan Shepherd is the man behind one of the most popular and well-regarded “kids and family music” blogs in the industry called Zooglobble. I highly recommend following Zooglobble whether you’re a parent looking for music for your family to enjoy, or a musician interested in keeping your finger on the pulse of this thriving genre. Here is recent Debbie and Friends interview on Zooglobble.

Interview: Debbie Cavalier (Debbie and Friends)

DCavalierWeb_01.jpgDebbie Cavalier leads a double life — not only is she behind Debbie and Friends, which offers a bunch of songs (and animation) squarely aimed at preschoolers (and maybe their older siblings), she’s also the Dean of Continuing Education at Berklee College of Music’s online division. So she’s got a pretty broad perspective on life as a musician, educator, and entrepreneur. (She’s also a really nice person.) Read on for her inspiration for Debbie and Friends, some music education tips, and the worst part about playing keyboards.

Zooglobble: What music did you listen to growing up?

Debbie Cavalier: My mom always played a lot of Tom Jones and Neil Diamond in the house when I was a kid. She also played my grandfather records a lot: The Marty Gold Orchestra. My grandfather has been a huge influence on my musical life. I just wrote a blog post about this.

Upon getting my own record player in elementary school in the mid 70s, my favorites rotations up were Elton John, Carole King, Billy Joel, the Bee Gees, Carly Simon, and Bruce Springsteen. Elton John definitely got more airplay in my room than anyone else.

What was the path that led you to your current job at Berklee and what does that job entail?

I was a music education major at Berklee and had a wonderful time as an elementary music teacher and choral director for a several years. During that time, I became involved with music education publishing and developed some music methods and choral arrangements for CPP/Belwin and Warner Bros. Publications. After a few years, they offered me a full-time position as an education editor to develop music education publications. I had the wonderful opportunity to develop music education publications with authors such as Shari Lewis and Buffalo Bob Smith before they passed away. I also did a lot of work with Bob McGrath from Sesame Street. Those experiences have had a tremendous impact on the work I do with Debbie and Friends.

After about five years at WB, I was hired by Berklee as the managing editor for Berklee Press. Shortly after that we started to develop plans for an online school, Berkleemusic.com. We became accredited in 2004, and now five years later we have the largest online music school in the world serving 30,000 students from more than 80 countries. Berkleemusic.com is the online continuing education division of the college. We have 100 fully-accredited online courses and certificate programs in music production, music business, songwriting, film scoring, arranging, and more. I’ve been the dean of continuing education at Berklee for the past five years. My job entails working with Berklee’s esteemed faculty in developing new online courses to serve a global community of musicians with music education opportunities. We have a team of 30 people at Berkleemusic and our enrollment is growing each semester. Our students tend to be adult learners who have a passion for music and want to further their career opportunities by studying with Berklee faculty and other students from around the globe. I love my work at Berklee and am very thankful for the flexibility it affords me with Debbie and Friends. Most of Berklee’s faculty and staff are involved in one kind of music project or another in their own musical lives. It’s a wonderful environment filled with opportunities to collaborate and grow.

What made you decide to do a kids’ CD?
As a music educator, I’ve always enjoyed sharing music with children. As my career path development and opportunities came my way, I found myself further and further removed from children. Debbie and Friends brings that back. But I have to say it was my nephew Will who inspired me to write my first children’s song just a few years ago when he was only 3. He told me the story of the Three Little Pigs one day with such enthusiasm that it sounded just like a song form. It occurred to me that the Three Little Pigs story would make a great song, and it just grew from there. I began writing ‚Äústory songs‚Äù and other music for children, then performing, then recording, and I just loved it! The fact that Debbie and Friends started with my nephew Will makes it extra special to me. And whenever we play shows in Boston or Philadelphia, Will comes up on stage with his brother Ronnie and sister Rebecca to join us on a few songs. They and their brother Teddy are a constant source of inspiration for me!

I made a little Web site for Will about the inspiration he provided. (I just happened to have a handy cam while he told the story to my mother — his grandma). Here‚Äôs a link to the story and the song on Will‚Äôs site:

DebbieLogo.jpgWhat group of kids are you targeting with Debbie and Friends?
The target age is pre-school and kindergarten children ages three to six. However, we have lots of fans at our shows who are seven, eight and even nine years old. Babies and toddlers seem to enjoy themselves too. But, the songs, activities, skills, lyrics, and interactions are targeting 3-6 year olds and the grownups who love them.

Which main aspect of the music process (writing, recording, playing live) do you enjoy the most? The least?
Playing live! I love the interaction and connection I share with the kids and families through live performance, and the shared musical experience the concerts provide for families. I believe children’s music is not about performing for kids, but rather, interacting with them and I enjoy that aspect so much.

My other favorite thing is collaborating with my producer Michael Carrera and all of the wonderful musicians who contribute to the Debbie and Friends recordings. They take an idea and make it better. Making music with others is a wonderful experience.

What do I least enjoy? That’s easy… carrying equipment before and after a show. My keyboard is very heavy!

Your videos are pretty high-quality — is the video-creation process something you enjoy, or do you just have lots of talented friends?
Thank you! It‚Äôs both. I love the process and I have wonderfully talented friends who have been very generous. My dear friends Amy Schrob and Sharon Lynch made the “Hangin‚Äô Around‚Äù movie for me as a gift. I also discovered a terrific animation company in the UK through Craigslist. The owner is Greg David and the company is Planet Sunday. They produced an animation based on the ‚ÄúThree Pigs and a Wolf‚Äù and just finished another one based on ‚ÄúI Got a Laugh.‚Äù They are starting to work on a third. The videos have been a wonderful way to reach new fans and has even opened some doors in licensing and TV placements.

Have you learned anything from making and playing the first album (Story Songs and Sing Alongs) that’s affected what you’re doing for the second album?
Oh yes! I learned that the story songs concept is a big hit with families. There is something about the familiarity of a well-known storyline set to music that makes for a fun interactive experience. The kids know where the story is going and are excited to assume the parts and roles throughout. So, there will be more familiar stories to sing about, including “I Think I Can” from The Little Engine that Could. That particular story is not in the Public Domain, but we were able to negotiate a fair license.

I also learned that stylistic variety is enjoyed by families. I feel very fortunate to have my Berklee colleagues to call upon to record and perform in a variety of styles. We recorded the rhythm section for five new songs in a Boston-based studio last week (piano, organ, bass, drums, and guitar) and I’m more excited than ever about the second album CD.

Having been a classroom music teacher and choral director for many years, there weren’t any huge surprises. Interaction and active participation for kids and their families seems to be most important and so all of the songs are written with a collective music making experience in mind.

DCavalierWeb_02.jpgIf you had one piece of advice for parents wanting their kids to develop basic music competency, what would it be?
Make music a natural part of your every day. Don’t be afraid to sing in front of your kids. Studies show that a parent’s voice is a baby’s favorite sound. Sing with your child every day, and don’t worry about how you think you might sound! The important thing is that you are modeling a love of music and a non-judgmental approach to making music.

Play music-related games such as:
– Make Up Your Own Songs (Parodies): Make up new words to familiar songs. Make up songs about a pet, friends, family, the morning routine, school, putting toys away, or anything at all.
– Name that Sound Game: Play a sound from the kitchen and have your child name it while listening from the next room. You can play sounds that are as easy as running water and as challenging as pouring cereal into a bowl.

Also, participate in Kindermusik and other early childrood-related music programs in your area. And, go to concerts, recitals and other musical performances whenever possible!

What’s next for you?
With Debbie and Friends the next step is to write, record, and make more music, play more concerts, and reach as many kids and families as possible. We’re working on new songs, booking more shows in different areas of the country, and having lots of fun!

    Story Songs and Sing Alongs CD

    Winner of nine national awards including Parents' Choice, Dove Foundation, and iParenting Media. Debbie and Friends is Kid's Music that's All Grown Up! Learn More