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School Programs and Teacher Workshops

John Farrell is one of the outstanding artists working with children and families anywhere today.  A talented singer, writer, musician and juggler these are not the only qualities that distinguish his work.  His greatest strengths are the messages he brings and the rapport he develops with audiences.  John's respect for and love of children make his concerts and workshops unique. It's not so much a show as it is an experience.  The audience becomes so involved that the line dividing performer and audience disappears.  Everyone becomes a part of the presentation.

Watching John's audiences is a joy to behold.  When people come to film or videotape, he tells them to turn the cameras on the audience.  That's where the real show is!  Kids and adults are singing, learning to sing in sign language, laughing at themselves and comfortably exploring important issues in their lives.

Topics raised in story and song include:

 respect

 tolerance

 perseverance

 justice

 learning from mistakes

 cherishing the elders in our lives

 working together

 dealing with peer pressure

 keeping the play in sports

 making good decisions

 family life and laughs

 loving each other

Adult audience members are sometimes brought to tears from laughter and reflection during the same performance.  You have to see John Farrell in action to truly understand why he is invited back to so many schools and other venues year after year.

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Playing with Words
Grades Pre-K - 4

Songs and Stories Around The World
Grades K - 6

Parents As Reading Partners
Grades K - 6

Respect for Each Other
Grades K-6

Earth Is Our Home
Grades K - 8

Peer Pressure
Grades 4-6

Critical Acclaim - What Educators and Critics Say

"Your programs are not just performances, they are experiences which linger in the songs and stories that can be heard  around our school for months after you've left."
-- Robert W. Keeser, Principal Dr. H.O. Smith School, Hudson, New Hampshire

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"The kids were enthralled. We could have sat there and listened for hours."
-- Claudia Justeson, Teacher, New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Thematic Programs

Listed below are the thematic programs John does in schools.  He visits approximately 100 schools each year doing assemblies and workshops for students from Pre-K through Grade 6.  Each program lasts 45-50 minutes and workshop length varies according to grade level and objectives.  The content for each program is specifically geared for the age group attending the performance.  John also does artist-in-residence programs which involve spending two or more days in a school or district visiting individual classrooms.

 

Let's Respect and Care For Each Other or (Character Counts) - Grades K - 6
The content for this program varies according to the grade levels attending the performance.

Using interactive songs and stories, John encourages students to think about how they treat one another and to consider the effects of their actions. In this program audience members will sing along, laugh, learn a song in sign language and reflect on how it feels to be in someone else's shoes.

Program will include some of the following selections:

A Little Bit of Light; Love Grows; How Would You Feel If That Happened To You?; Rachel; The Hug Song; Take Good Care Of Each Other; Me Too!; Thank You For Being My Friend and more.
 

 The songs presented are available on John's cassettes, CD's or video.

The Earth is Our Home - Grade K-8
This is a celebration of songs and stories relating to protecting the environment and appreciating the wonder and beauty of our exquisite home - Planet Earth. Much of the content in this program comes from John's video, "The Great Earth Sing-Along," which won a Parents Choice Award.

Program will include some of the following selections:

    Habitat; The Earth Is Our Home; Rain Forest Walk; I like Ants; Down By The Bay; Turn The World Around and more.
     

Most of the songs included are available on the video and there is also a teachers guide being developed for this specific program which will be available soon.

Celebrating Books and Authors or (Parents as Reading Partners) - Grade K-6
This program is presented to help kickoff or culminate a celebration of the importance of reading, writing, books and authors. One or more assemblies are done for all students during school.  Many groups extend this to the larger school community of parents and family members by having an evening performance.  The evening performance involves different content than the daytime, but may include some selections that students request.  John is the author of the book, "It's Just A Game."  A time can be set aside to have John autograph copies of his book, CD's and video. 

Program will include some of the following selections:

    The Library Song; Mistakes Are Our Teachers; Step By Step; How About You?; Listen To The Stories; Down By The Bay; It's Just A Game and more.

Other songs and stories are included depending on the make-up of the audience
 and topics that are relevant to the group. You may request that the content be correlated
 to your particular theme.

"Your joyfulness set a wonderful tone for the weeks that followed in our PARP celebration. We loved the literary tie-ins you made. Rest assured you will be invited back to help us celebrate reading and learning"
Pat Newell, PARP Chairperson, Sacketts Harbor, N.Y.

Peer Pressure in School or (Building Bridges of Tolerance and Understanding)
Grades 4-8
Peer pressure is something that every child and adult experiences. It is also something that can be very difficult to talk about.  During this program, stories and songs are presented that may help students recognize some of their own behaviors and realize how important it is to be considerate of others when making decisions. 

Program will include some of the following selections:

    Courage; Please Give Me Time; Playing Right Field; Me Too!; The Juggling Man and more. 

"Your songs and stories are far more than entertaining. They stimulate understanding of truths and values -- the ageless goal of the best songs and stories in all cultures...See you next year."
Douglas Price, Principal, Cottonwood Elem. School, Casa Grande, Arizona

Playing with Words and Ideas Grades Pre-K - 4
Young people everywhere love music, songs, stories, jokes, riddles and word play. This program incorporates a little of all of these things plus some juggling, movement and laughter thrown in for good measure. This fast-paced program involves participation throughout and leaves students and teachers alike feeling good about learning. There are opportunities and suggestions for follow-up activities.

Program will include some of the following selections:

    Down By The Bay; I Like Ants; Rainbow Trout; You're Really Smart, Aren't You?; Silly Jack; Love Grows and more.

 

Songs and Stories Around the World - Grades K-6
A presentation of music, songs and storytelling that features an international flavor as John shares songs and stories from and about many places around the world.  John has performed throughout the US and in Canada, Japan and Ireland.  He also tells stories from Africa, Asia, Europe and Central and South America.  Storytelling is a marvelous way to demonstrate that although people may look and talk differently we enjoy the same stories and we share many of the same hopes and dreams.

Program will include some of the following selections:

    Zo-San; Family Tree; Two Of Everything; Kilkelly; Ireland; The King Has Ears Like A Goat; Lazy Leonard; Why The Turtles Shell Is Cracked and more.


Workshops and Conferences

John has presented workshops, seminars and keynote presentations at many educational conferences, universities and teacher inservices in the US and internationally.  Presentation topics include:

      Songs and Stories: Literature of the Heart
      Using Music and Storytelling in the Classroom
      Singing, Reading and Writing: Making the Connections
      Storytelling Techniques and Strategies
      Building Bridges of Words and Ideas
      Song Writing

Listed below are some of the conferences and meetings that have invited John to do presentations:

      Arizona Young Authors Conference
      Association of English Teachers, Tokyo, Japan
      Association of English Teachers, Osaka, Japan
      Association of Educators of Young Children
      Galway Teachers Center, Ireland
      Massachusetts Reading Association
      New England Reading Association
      New York State Reading Association
      Southwest International Reading Association
      Wakayama Early Childhood Association, Japan
      International Reading Association 2000, Indianapolis


What Some Other Educators and Critics have said

"The Great Earth Sing-Along is DELIGHTFUL! Your children will be mesmerized!"
Jeffrey Lyons, NBC Television, Sneak Previews

"The kids were enthralled...we could've sat there and listened for hours."
 
Claudia Justeson, Teacher, New Hyde Park, N.Y.

"Your material was perfectly chosen for the different levels you worked with."
Bill Van Patten, Morning Program Reunion and West Canada Valley ES, N.Y.

"You are enchanting and we love to be enchanted...Please come visit again!"
Kaori Kodama, Teacher, Osaka, Japan

"We're still talking about you. Thanks for a magical morning we'll all remember."
Treasa Kirk, Teacher, Galway, Ireland

"Your joyfulness set a wonderful tone for the weeks that followed in our PARP celebration. We loved the literary tie-ins you made. Rest assured you will be invited back to help us celebrate reading and learning"
Pat Newell, PARP Chairperson, Sacketts Harbor, N.Y.

"Your programs are not just performances, they are experiences which linger in the songs and stories that can be heard around our school for months after you've left. You have become the standard to which every other performer is compared."
Robert W. Keeser, Principal Dr. H.O. Smith School, Hudson, New Hampshire


Length of Programs
All programs (assemblies, workshops, etc.) are 45 to 60 minutes in length
and session starting times must be at least one hour apart.
 

 

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