Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Tag Archives: Little Kids Rock

The Six Strings of Christmas – Behind the Scenes

It’s been a few years since the successful launch of our 1st Christmas album, The Six Strings of Christmas. And with 100% of the proceeds of the sales benefiting Little Kids Rock, thousands of school-age disadvantaged kids across the nation received musical instruments and lessons at no cost. We’re pretty proud of that. So, this year, we are VERY excited to release our newest holiday collection, The Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2. We’ve been hard at work on this project since last summer (it was sort of strange recording these holiday classics in 90 degree Texas heat). We brought together many of the finest studio musicians who work on our various sonic branding projects to perform 14 tracks on stringed instruments. It’s REALLY beautiful stuff. And again, all proceeds will benefit Little Kids Rock so that more kids can pursue their musical dreams.

All of these cuts were recorded, mixed and carefully mastered at Stephen Arnold Music’s T-Bone studios in Fairview, TX (just north of Dallas). We used a tremendous range of stringed instruments on this project, like dulcimer, nylon, steel and 12 string acoustic guitar, mandolin, double bass, harp guitar, fiddle, dobro, piano and, of course, sleigh bells! (we know, NOT stringed – but they are strung together!) Each of these musicians created their own arrangements of these Christmas classics and performed them either solo or with other musicians. We particularly enjoyed recording We Three Kings with three “kings” of guitar, all playing together in the studio in a single live performance – with no overdubs!

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ALL the musicians on this album are truly “kings” of their instruments. For example, one of our artists, Milo Deering, has toured extensively with LeAnn Rimes, and has played on most of her albums. Most recently, he has also toured with Don Henley. Chris Carrington, classical guitarist extraordinaire, grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and has served on university music department faculties nationwide. He is also a renowned luthier (that’s a guitar maker). You can check out his amazing creations here.

Hmmm…does a guitar maker who builds Martin guitars call himself a “Martin Luthier”? But I digress…

Stephen & Demitri

Stephen Arnold even played a Greek instrument on one of the tracks! One week into the recording sessions, Stephen was off traveling in Greece. While strolling through a flea market, he spotted and snagged a 50 year-old, hand-made “bouzouki” (an instrument that was introduced in Greece in the 1900’s by immigrants from Asia Minor – similar to a mandolin with a long neck). Well, it might have been Greek to Stephen, but since it only has 3 strings (each doubled), he was able to somehow make it work! You can check out this unique sound on the track Joy to the World.

So do yourself – and your loved ones – a favor, and pick up our new Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2. You can order or download it here.

And while you’re on that same page, purchase a copy of the Six Strings of Christmas Volume 1! We’re very proud of these collections that will bring lots of joy and good cheer into your holidays. Plus, they make a great gift! And remember, 100% of the proceeds goes to Little Kids Rock. Who knows, maybe one of the kids who benefits from instruments and lessons from this project will one day perform on a FUTURE volume of The Six Strings of Christmas! As we say in the stringed instrument business … stay tuned.

The Six Strings of Christmas, Volume 2

It’s Here  – Hot off the Press!

We’re really excited about our newest holiday edition of The Six Strings of Christmas – Volume 2! Our first album was a big hit, and now you can enjoy 14 NEW beautiful performances from our stable of outstanding studio musicians on this latest collection. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds benefit Little Kids Rock, which provides free musical instruments and lessons to underprivileged kids across the country.

Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of the tracks:

It’s available on Amazon right now, so get your copy in time for the holidays! It’s a great album, benefiting a wonderful cause. AND it makes a terrific Christmas gift!

Order yours today, and Happy Holidays to all of you!

Christmas CD benefitting Little Kids Rock!! The 6 Strings of Christmas

Season’s Greetings Everyone,

We’re back again this Holiday Season hoping to make our industry aware of this great organization, Little Kids Rock™.

Little Kids Rock™ provides free music lessons and instruments to underserved public school kids around the country.

Last year we were able to put 60 brand new acoustic guitars into the hands of children by raising over $3000 selling our Christmas CD, The Six Strings Of Christmas, which features many of our great Texas studio friends playing their own 6-string yuletide arrangements (100% of the proceeds go to Little Kids Rock).

Each CD costs just $9.99, and 100% of the proceeds are donated to Little Kids Rock, which means:

  • 1 CD = Provides a child with three months of music lessons!
  • 5 CDs = Puts a brand new acoustic guitar into a child’s hands!
  • 10 CDs = Supplies a keyboard and amp to a public school music class!

So with the purchase of “The Six Strings of Christmas” by Stephen Arnold Music, you will be helping Little Kids Rock provide free instruments and music lessons to disadvantaged public school students in some of the most economically challenged communities in the United States!

Listen Now >>


 

Thanks for giving our children the right to rock!

–Stephen
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http://www.stephenarnoldmusic.com/thesixstringsofchristmas/

Live samples from the sessions:

Music as a language – Victor Wooten & Little Kids Rock

For the past few years Stephen Arnold Music has worked closely with an inspirational organization that has grown close to our heart: Little Kids Rock.

This innovative nonprofit transforms the lives of children by restoring and revitalizing music education in disadvantaged public schools all over the United States.

A bit of background: today millions of American children receive little to no music in their school curriculum. Major budget cuts continue to force school music programs to close, particularly in schools serving low-income communities.

Little Kids Rock partners with public school districts, training teachers with a groundbreaking curriculum. The nonprofit also donates all of the instruments and resources necessary to run the schools’ music programs.

Last Saturday, March 1st, I had a rare opportunity to sit in on one of the Little Kids Rock eight hour training workshops for instructors as they initiated the launching of 60 Dallas Independent School District schools.

That’s right, not six or 16 but 60 DISD schools. For a guy who grew up in Dallas, I can’t tell you how proud that makes me.

It was time consuming, painstaking work lead by Little Kids Rock founder David Wish and music director Scott Burstein. The pair led 25-plus DISD teachers (all of whom graciously donate their time) through a marvelous process on how to teach the curriculum.  The seminar included everything from holding a guitar and a pick to tuning an instrument, to warm up exercises and learning songs (with “one-finger chords”) all the way through songwriting techniques.

Can you imagine the delight of seeing a second or third grader write and perform his or her song?  The one-finger chord process was simply amazing: the very idea of playing The Beatles’ classic “Eleanor Rigby” with just one finger was unforgettable.

Since founded 12 years ago, Little Kids Rock has taught more than 120,000 schoolchildren to play guitar, piano, bass and drums. Currently, there are chapters in 25 cities with over 1,200 dedicated teachers at the helm.

But if you think the best part is the music, the lessons, or even the songs they learn to play, think again. It’s the fact that children with arts instruction are three-times more likely to continue their education and even earn a degree.

This program also gives schoolchildren something to look forward to. It provides confidence and, most importantly, teaches kids how to express themselves, literally transforming their lives. Simply, music is the vehicle that can make a significant difference in their lives.

One of the first things Little Kids Rock does in workshops is to show a video clip of renowned bassist Victor Wooten, a five-time Grammy Award winner who plays with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. In Music as a Language Wooten makes the case for learning music in the same way as we learned our first language, calling for a more natural, less academic approach. He makes the point that, as babies, we weren’t taught our first language or corrected when we made a mistake. We didn’t have to write out our ABCs (read music) before we talked (played music).  We didn’t even know we were beginners and got to ‘jam’ with people much better than us. Wooten draws on his own musical education as an example of how taking this approach can deliver great results.

It’s a powerful message, and to hear it from one of the world’s best players is even more inspiring.

I’d been at the workshop since 9 a.m. and at about 4 p.m. I was exhausted, but energized. But that’s when the real fun began. Little Kids Rock brought four or five students from DISD schools to perform. A pair of guitars, a bass, drums and a singer, all playing original compositions they had learned and perfected through the program. Before Little Kids Rock, not one of these musicians had ever so much as picked up an instrument. It was truly inspirational!

For years when people would ask me, “What comes first, the words or the music?”

I’d always say, “The deadline.”

After the Little Kids Rock workshop in Dallas, I think I’ll modify my stock answer. What comes first, the words or the music?

The kids!

(For more information on Little Kids Rock click here)

Christmas CD Benefitting Little Kids Rock!!

Stephen Arnold with some of the “little kid rockers” at an LKR benefit showcase - Two Old Hippies Guitar Shop in Nashville.

Stephen Arnold with some of the “little kid rockers” at an LKR benefit showcase – Two Old Hippies Guitar Shop in Nashville.

Little Kids receiving guitars at a workshop in Chicacgo.

Little Kids receiving guitars at a workshop in Chicago.

Seasons Greetings, Everyone!

The holidays are here, and this year has a special meaning. I’d like to invite you to help us raise awareness for a great little cause with a very big heart.

It’s Little Kids Rock, a fantastic nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing music education in America. With your help, Little Kids Rock provides free instruments and music lessons to underserved public school kids, coast-to-coast.

Last year we produced a special CD called The Six Strings of Christmas, an album of holiday arrangements performed by our family of studio musicians — those great players we work with every day. They donated their services, and we all donated our time to make it happen, resulting in a collection of 16 great acoustic yuletide classics all played on a six-string… well, with a few 4, 8, and 12 strings thrown in just for fun.

Thanks to the generosity of clients and friends like you, we were able to give $3,000 to Little Kids Rock.

We’re at it again this year, and here’s the best part: just like last year…100% of each $9.99 CD purchase goes directly to Little Kids Rock.

Purchase your copy of The Six Strings Of Christmas here with all proceeds benefitting Little Kids Rock

One of my favorite videos is watching the faces of these kids as they each receive a guitar at this Little Kids Rock workshop.

You can click here to learn more about Little Kids Rock and listen to The Six Strings of Christmas CD by clicking here.

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Thank you so much for you help. Happy Holidays, and thanks for helping Little Kids Rock!