The ‘Light bulb’ Moment

Hear hear!

Now, even if not necessarily this awesome choir-who (full disclosure) I’ve done some work for in the past-I certainly recommend choirs as a great activity for your kids, be that priavte, community or school based. We’re very lucky in Ballarat to have quite a few options for little kids who like to sing, but I’m sure there’s some option near you…and if there isn’t you might like to consider making one 🙂

Sing and Dance Australia

There is nothing greater than seeing the sense of accomplishment from a child when they take that brave step and sing on their own for the very first time! I feel that I’ve been able to mentor and guide someone in the same way someone guided and passed on their enthusiasm to me.

Last term I was able to pull off what I call a “light bulb” moment; that glorious few seconds when a child leaps from “I can’t do this” to “I have done it! And finally sings on their own! It may only be for a few seconds but the courage and emotion that has gone into taking that plunge is enormous. The reason I love teaching is for moments like these! I have been teaching a child who is very shy. She understands all the concepts being taught, but found it difficult to sing and speak in…

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A Unique Look at the Boat People ‘Problem’ in Australia

A Unique Look at the Boat People ‘Problem’ in Australia.

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A New Approach

I’ve always written songs, but I’ve always written stories too, and I’ve always been a performer.

I love playing, but gigs are big things and kids ate hard to organize. I live writing but my stories work best when they’re told.

I think I should be making videos.

http://www.patreon.com/earl_leonard

You can help. Instead of a big project, producing ongoing content, with ongoing support, is what I think will work.

If you believe in what I do, that I’m a good, talented, thoughtful children’s entertainer with a chance to make a go of it, them go here and pledge your support as a patron, the modern way.

Small amounts from lots of people, rather than the old model of big amounts from a few rich philanthropists and societies.

http://www.patreon.com/earl_leonard

I’ve linked to the best clips from my YouTube to begin with, and just uploaded a new vid of me reciting a picture story book Ice written and illustrated.

You can check that out here too: http://www.youtube.com/user/earlleonard/videos

I need and would really appreciate your help. Thanks

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Can You Kazoo?

Love the kazoo! The idea that it is a great instrument to build musical confidence is brilliantly true!

Ballarat used to have a wonderful `Kazoo Orchestra’ (maybe they could re-form or you could form one in your home town).

When I covered it back in the day, I used to play the solo from Bowie’s `Heroes’ on the Kazoo, and of course the instrument was also used in the place of the bagpipes for the Meanies’ famous cover of the AC/DC classic `It’s a Long Way to the Top’

So, yes, folks: the kazoo; credible, useful, awesome.

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Highlights Reel!

Letting no editing time go to waste, I’ve repurposed a video of snippits from the concert shows I put together into a general `samples of Earl’s shows’ vid. Rosie has her say and Jasper spontaneously says the sweetest thing about his Dad that a boy has ever said.

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Lies Parents Tell Themselves Before Children

One of the advantages of being a bit paranoid, insecure and pessimistic is that I didn’t really tell myself these `lies’ before becoming a parent; most of the time if I ever saw any of these examples of `bad parenting’ I just assumed the folks had their reasons and that I couldn’t do any better, and probably that I’d be worse. Still funny though.

Lies Parents Tell Themselves Before Children.

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Was not Pozible, Might be Possible

During the last six weeks I’ve played a half dozen short gigs outside, in playgrounds in and around Ballarat!

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It’s the red coats!

I’ve receiver fan mail art for kids…

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Note the awesome shadow/3D effects

As well as adults!

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The Music-Man, keeping citizens safe with sound!

At the same time I’ve been doing my teaching rounds at Scotsburn Primary School, where I tried to be more of a help than an imposition to my Mentor Teacher by keeping a lid on my boundless enthusiasm and tendency to go off on tangents until appropriate moments.

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We made objects! I got more excited about the difference between pyramids and prisms than small children are probably used to.

I, of course, performed for the students when I could and quite a few of them attended the various public shows as well.

It was all great fun, educational (for me and hopefully all the kids) and very rewarding. However at the same time I was trying to run my Pozible campaign to fund a concert DVD but sadly, despite heaps of support from all my fans and friends (tweeting, sharing, pledging), it wasn’t successful.

There are lots of reasons for this, including: bad timing; the figure I needed being quite large; and, maybe, simply that a single big product like a DVD isn’t really what you guys want from me.

This changes my plans, and my goals, but not my aims.

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An info-graphic on the life cycle of Emperor Penguins I drew on the whiteboard for the kids. It’s a metaphor.

As well as becoming a teacher I’m still going to keep playing music for kids–after such a great 3 years for myself and my family there’s no way I could stop–but I have to re-think my funding model and what time I put into what activities.

Importantly, I still have to pay Redwood Entertainment for the filming and editing work they’ve already done! (check out my youtube channel). But they’ve been great; very supportive, understanding and patient. And hey, the make wedding videos if anyone needs one.

Now, I’ve received lots of feedback messages on the campaign, but any more thoughts would be appreciated. I’ll get back to you all with my new plans soon! My next public gig is at a school fete in Bendigo in August. But for now, thanks again for your help, and keep on walking, hopping and jigging!

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One old song finally made sense; all the kids, mums and dads joined in dancing around this ‘Thinking Tree’ at the Eureka Gardens!

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Singing in the Rain Tour 2013

Hi folks,

I’m excited to announce my ‘Singing in the Rain’ tour in support of my current Pozible project. http://www.pozible.com/earlleonard

Bring your rain coats and gumboots… lets jump in puddles and sing to the grey skies!

My very first show is this Sunday 9th June, 11am at the Indigenous Playground, Lake Wendouree Foreshore.

Love to see your faces there, gold coin donation.

Following shows:

Sat 15th June, 10.30am, Eureka Stockade Gardens, Eureka St, Ballarat

Sun 16th June, 11am, Buninyong Botanic Gardens, Cnr. Scott and Inglis Streets, Buninyong

Sat 22nd June, 10.30am, LT Fraser Reserve, Main Road (near skate park), Ballarat

Sun 23rd June, 11am, Brown Hill Reserve, Hummfray St N, Brown Hill

Sun 30th June, 11am, Lake Esmond Botanical Garden, Lal Lal St, Canadian

Love to see you there at all or one of my shows! Gold coin donation.

Rug up! This tour is all about embracing whatever Ballarat’s weather dishes up. Let’s dress for the occasion; rain, hail or shine I shall sing!

If you would like to make a donation for my DVD right now, please do at

http://www.pozible.com/earlleonard

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It’s So Simple To Play The Spoons!

I’ve been holding the spoons wrong! Not that I’ve ever considered myself a spoon player, but this simple explanation just made an instant difference.

I’ve reblogged a few posts from from Tiny Tapping Toes, because the blogger Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou (http://www.dariamusic.com) is an amazing font of inspiration. Plus reading her clear instructions of proper spoon technique this morning (and then playing the spoons with my kids!) mirrored the similar instructions I witnessed local (Ballarat/Buniyong) music teacher, musician and friend, Steven Skilbeck of https://www.facebook.com/monthofsundaysband give his class on the correct (i.e. best) way of holding xylophone mallets yesterday.

Yes, I am pretty lucky that I get to learn from a great specialist teacher during my pre-service-rounds. I hope that we know each other in the real world hasn’t made his job of running classes with a observing student teacher more weird than otherwise.

Anyway, my point is that while I’m a huge believer in `giving things a go’, spontaneity, and unrestricted creativity, there’s also no need to reinvent the wheel when you’re starting out, and having a mentor to pass on those little bits of technical knowledge is invaluable. And in the modern world such mentors are readily accessible in a myriad of ways!

Now, where’s my copy of Superunknown….

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How to Fail at Human Rights: Australia Excuses itself from Refugee Law

That children who did nothing, other than have parents willing to risk everything for a safer life, are currently living in prison is bad enough. That my government has now made doing such a thing legally easier (with no rational moral, social, economic or even secruity based justification none-the-less) is shameful, mortifying, infuriating and just not good enough, in any sense.

WanderLust

Welcome to UnAustralia

A large portion of what I spend my time doing overseas is engaging with abuses of human rights and their practical implications- or working to ensure that peoples’ basic rights are met, either through direct action, or advocacy. Coming home to my family in Australia, I have the privilege of knowing they will never face the sorts of rights deprivations that many of the displaced people I habitually work with do.

With that in mind, it makes Australia’s decision yesterday to excise its mainland from the migration zone all the more shocking.

The migration zone, simply put, is the geographical boundary within which an incoming asylum-seeker can legally lodge an appeal for asylum. Under normal circumstances, an asylum-seeker can set foot anywhere on Australian sovereign territory and, from that point, appeal to the government to recognize his or her claim for refugee status under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating…

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