I'm Gonna Sing with Oren
Oren Rosenthal has been teaching music, and leading music groups for the last twenty years. He is a music therapist, teacher,and performer who plays many instruments, including guitar, fiddle, accordion, and piano. 'These songs are all ones I have used successfully in my music groups over the years; with children with and children without disabilities. The kids have chosen them for me. They play them over and over again at home, and want to do them time after time in groups, so I know there's something there.' 'The songs are simple and I do them simply; just me and my guitar. (and an accordion on one piece) Some are traditional songs that have survived because they are so good. A few are from great children's performers like Ella Jenkins and Raffi. And I even made up a few, which reflect my background growing up in Chicago, listening to blues, folk, Motown and even the Jefferson Airplane.' When Oren started doing music groups, twenty years ago, he was surprised at the reactions he got. 'I was just playing music and singing songs that I liked,' he said, 'and I was amazed at the response the music got. In nursing homes I saw people afflicted with Alzheimer's, huddled in their wheelchairs, lift their heads and start singing. I saw autistic children come out of their own worlds and move towards the group, and, eventually, participate. I saw parents who considered themselves unmusical begin singing and clapping along with kids and using the songs in their own ways to help them in their daily relationships with their kids. It was really gratifying.' Using recorded music was an integral part of the experience with young children. 'I originally made a tape for the kids in a group I was working with so they could learn the songs at home. I made it in a couple of hours. It worked, and then I heard that brothers and sisters were listening to it, too. One mother called me up several years later wanting another tape because her first one had worn out! It was all kind of a shock to me that it was so popular.' 'But I'm a believer now, eighteen years later. I am relieved, that after so many requests from parents and children that I finally stuck it through and recorded the songs on a commercial CD. I hope you enjoy it!'