March 12, 2016

Singing Bob Marley & Character Development

I love my new class at Jefferson this Winter/Spring. Today we worked on a couple of Bob Marley songs. These were both recorded from my perspective. Both of these songs are very encouraging and hopeful. I think learning songs like these lift us up in times of trouble. What great tools to give to our kids as they make their way in the world as gifts and blessings, As always... enjoy!

February 23, 2016

Fish Lips

A few Years ago our BAM Folk Music class wrote a song they called Fish Lips. They chose to use the Tune "Tinkle Tinkle" and used their field trip to Lawrence Hall of Science as the inspiration for the words. This is the BAM 2016 Folk Music Class singing this BAM favorite. 


January 22, 2016

BAM Folk Music Performance - The Pie Song

We have had a small but very wide age range class at BAM this Fall. We range in age from 5 to 8. One of the students has been in the folk music class for 8 semesters and for three of the students this is their first time in the class. It took some figuring out but this turned out to be a wonderful, unique, class, one of my favorite of all time. For our School performance we decide to do two songs with a couple of our girls taking the mic. Here is our rendition of a song we call "The Pie Song." You probability never hear it before but it is from the movie "Waitress" which is a must watch. You are going to love this song staring Rosie. I think you will find yourself playing more than once... and sharing it as well. What a treasure!

October 27, 2015

"Inch by Inch"- the Jefferson Folk Music Class

We have a wonderful class at Jefferson. Raphael and I think  that these 15 kids are so up for most anything. What a wonderful class to teach. At this class we recorded "Inch by Inch", learned to play kazoos and recorded our first kazoo song. What Fun!

October 16, 2015

The Lonely Song - a song with an A minor !

Last week we learned a new song "The Carrot Song." It is a really upbeat song that you can listen to on last weeks blog. So I played the song for my 10 year old grandson Max. The next time I saw Max he said.. "Grandpa.. I wrote a new song." So he started to sing it to me. It was inspired by The Carrot Song but he took it a different direction with the use of an A minor chord. It is amazing how minor chords change the emotion of a song. Our kids at both Jefferson and BAM learned the song, added some movement and here is what we came up with. We will start with the Jefferson kids. Enjoy!

October 1, 2015

New Class - New Song "The Carrot Song" by Izumi Hayakawa

So we have started a new "Making Folk Music" class at Jefferson Elementary in Berkeley with Raphael as our Co-Teacher. We are learning all about different kinds of instruments; wind, string, percussion, reed. We were able to play a ukulele (string), drum on our bodies (percussion) and we MADE a double reed instrument we call a "Sax-a-straw". We also learned about physics and sound waves. (If you have a child in the class, asked them about the physics of sound waves).

But the really big event of our class this week was the performance of a new song written by my friend Izumi Hayakawa. Izumi is a wonderful jazz singer and she what inspired to write "The Carrot Song" when she picked up a Ukulele (a uke can have that effect on you). Izumi and her song are amazing!

You need to understand the class was just introduced to "The Carrot Song" about 10 minutes before we asked them to perform it. This is a work in progress....  but I think we will enjoy it...


September 29, 2015

A Letter to Parents as we start new fall classes

Here is the letter I sent to parents of my Fall class students at Berkeley Arts Magnet School. I am so excited about the start of classes at BAM and Jefferson in Berkeley.... Watch for some new videos in the coming weeks. 

Good morning all you wonderful parents.
I am writing to update you on our class. 

Inline image 2
First... No class October 2. I am officiating at a Wedding in Santa Barbara October 3 so need to go down early for rehearsal etc. 

Second... I am excited about my new Co-Teacher. Yun-Yun is teaching full time so our new co-teacher is Masako. Masako is an amazing jazz pianist. She plays gigs all around the Bay Area. She will be assisting with the class, learning to play the Ukulele, and will be a wonderful addition to our exciting Folk Music Class. 

Third... We will be having our first really-wide-age MFM class with a number of older past students. This will be Zolly's 7th class with me. So... we will be doing some more advanced stuff and also be using our older students to teach the younger ones. 

Forth... Because we have some older kids I would be willing and able to start teaching some ukulele to the kids that are interested as part of our class. If your child is interested and does not already have a ukulele I would suggest the 

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Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
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​This is a great little ukulele that looks and plays like a real instrument. You can often find one on Amazon that includes a gig bag for as little as $60 and you can get a tuner for another $7 (Hola! HT-100 Chromatic Clip-on Tuner) . A very good deal for a nice little uke and all the needed accessories. 

I have one new KA-15s with gig bag and tuner that I could sell if you are interested. Cost:$70 Just let me know. You can also buy it online. 

See you (and or your kids) on Friday, October 9. 
Karl & Masako

ps.. don't forget to keep checking out our blog at:
I am now teaching MFM at Jefferson Elementary on Wednesday afternoons.