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Explore Everywhere is a dynamic, always-online daily learning curriculum that introduces kids and their families to the world using global music, sing-along and dance-along videos, and hands-on, try-this-at-home projects. Your Explore Everywhere “tour guide” is Jay Sand, founder and lead teacher of All Around This World, a global music and world cultures program for kids. Throughout the summer of 2015 Jay and Explore Everywhere are taking families on a tour of the dramatically diverse continent of Africa, “traveling” from the Algeria in the north to South Africa, from Ethiopia in the east to Guinea in the west, from the northewestern islands of Cape Verde to megadiverse Madagascar off the southeastern coast. Below, Jay suggests 7 ways to experience African music and culture with your kids of all ages.
— Shake your shoulders with the eskista!
The eskista, Ethiopia’s most popular traditional dance, gives the legs and hips a rest and instead relies on intense shaking of the shoulders. Join Jay in dancing the eskista to All Around This World’s adaptation of the1980s Ethio-jazz hit, “Nanu Nanu Ney.”
— Meet the Maghreb [Sample of a typical Explore Everywhere post (pdf)]
In this post we briefly meet North Africa and introduce the concept of the Maghreb, then leap firmly into marriage by participating in the unique Berber Imilchil Marriage Festival, even though we are not Berber, not in Imlichil and not at all interested in getting married. Background and step-by-step instructions | A “Try This at Home” video version
— What’s your name in “drum?”
Nigeria’s “talking drum” is a uniquely expressive hourglass-shaped percussion instrument whose pitch the musician can control by squeezing or releasing ropes attached to both ends. Because of these changes in pitch the drum can “talk,” and it sure has a lot to say! This video will invite kids to translate their own personalities into a series of tones and “talk” them to each other on a drum.
— Swirl your hips and yell KWASSA!
Kwassa kwassa!! The energizing Congolese dance known as the “kwassa kwassa” inspires dancers to move their hands in circles, following the motion of their circling hips, while their legs jiggle and sway. Dance along with Jay to All Around This World’s version of Kanda Bongo Man’s soukous classic, “Sai.”
— The Gumboot Code
“Gumboot dancing” developed as a literal survival mechanism for African workers enduring the deplorable conditions in Apartheid-era South African mines who would communicate each other in rhythmic codes by slapping and stomping in their hip high boots. Join Jay for a simple start.
— Off the northwestern coast: Cape Verde
Celebrate Carnival in the Cape Verde islands, a former Portuguese colony that was a common maritime rest stop on the route of the slave trade between Africa and the Americas. Despite that dark distinction, Cape Verde also provided a conduit for Portuguese music and culture to travel to Brazil.
— Off the southeastern coast: Madagascar
Leap like Malagasy lemurs
Madagascar is a massive island off the southeastern coast of Africa that is considered “megadiverse,” not just due to its extreme biological diversity but also because of the multiple African/Indian/Persian/French influences present in its culture. Here Jay shows you how to poke around the rapidly disappearing Malagasy forest like an odd little lemur, the aye aye.
You and your family can join Jay on daily global adventures by subscribing to “Explore Everywhere.” The curriculum offers learning options for all ages, from weekly “sing-along” classes for grown-ups to enjoy with their littlest kids, to hands-on projects for five year-olds to middle-schoolers, to intriguing cultural explorations for teens and adults. For a limited time you can receive a full year subscription by pledging just $25 to enable Jay to give Explore Everywhere scholarships to 1000 School Classrooms or Homeschooling Groups worldwide.
All Around This World: A Global Music and World Cultures Experience for Kids and their Families
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