In 1961 Hy Zaret and Lou Singer created six full albums of science-themed songs for children. Truly they were ahead of their time. It’s only fitting, then, that GRAMMY Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are the artists that bring a collection of these songs to a new generation of young scientists and explorers. After all, Cathy and Marcy have nearly four decades of performing family music.
Disclosure: I received this album free of charge for the purpose of my review.
Of the 10-song collection they curated for this ride through science, the only one I recognized was Why Does the Sun Shine? because They Might Be Giants recorded a cover. Baby boomers may recognize these songs from their own childhood, but to this Gen-Xer they were quite new.
I have only one quibble, and that is the science behind Why Does the Sun Shine? is incorrect. However, while TMBG created a new song to reflect current knowledge of the sun (it is actually a miasma of incandescent plasma), Cathy and Marcy retained the original song about the sun, keeping this album exclusively composed by Hy Zaret and Lou Singer. My personal quibble with the scientific basis for a song only proves my point on the importance of music in the academic arena. Music is an incredibly powerful tool, and one that is under utilized in education. With STEM and STEAM curriculae gaining popularity, I hope we see more science and math based music.
In addition to introducing children to a variety of scientific topics, this album also explores several musical genres. Bobo the Bear (The Hibernation Song) plays as a Russian folk tune. Constellation Jig is, not surprisingly, a jig. We Know the Air is There (Hi, Ho, Fiddle Dee Dee) also introduces some fiddle music. What Is An Insect? (A Cricket in a Thicket) takes some time at the end to instruct how to whistle to make a cricket sound. Maybe cricket sounds aren’t an accepted musical genre, but they are unique and remarkable. I didn’t get the hang of the cricket sounds but I sure had fun trying!
The album won’t release until next month but you can pre-order by clicking here. To help you wait they’ve released a video of their title track:
Teachers and other education-minded people can find 10 PDF activity guides online and on the CD.