Music School - ``Songs About Us``

About “Songs About Us”

A new and wonderful thing has entered the fray of Special Education. It is a harmonious combination of both Education and Entertainment, now cleverly referred to as: “Edutainment”

This concept starts here, with a collection of songs by Kerry Fenster based on lessons about life skills called social stories.  These are currently employed in special needs classrooms around the world for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Kerry started thinking about the idea of using music as a means of making people happy, while also helping them with certain essential tasks or goals, i.e., getting to school in the morning, etc. He thought of other ideas and lessons, too, that were commonly practiced, and he began to think of songs as concepts – employing phrases and language that were part of the everyday vernacular of this world.

As he researched other musical expressions available for the Special Needs community, it appeared they were mainly patronizing and not quite mature enough, as if only intended for very young people, or worse, as if the age of this particular audience was irrelevant or not even acknowledged. This caused Kerry to focus on music that was more appropriate for all ages, as he saw that people with disabilities also enjoyed rock, rap, pop, folk, reggae and indeed all other genres.

His vision and goal was to create music to entertain, to enrich and to assist, in any way possible, in the lives of those with or without developmental disabilities. Kerry also hoped the songs would make the listener sing and dance, and with this model he planned to make an album whose theme would fit this niche, as he determined there wasn’t anything else in the market quite like that.

After a few years, he’d finally written a couple of songs, made a demo and started playing them with his students. He was overjoyed at the response – they loved it! Kerry felt he had finally made a musical connection with this audience, and an artistic breakthrough.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do was make music that both adults and children would enjoy and now “Songs About Us” is the reality of that dream.”

 – Kerry Fenster

“All I’ve ever wanted to do was make music that both adults and children would enjoy and now “Songs About Us” is the reality of that dream.”

 – Kerry Fenster

Kerry Fenster

The best part was that the music itself was more age appropriate for these young adults than most music aimed at people with Special Needs. Music made specifically for any individual of any age with a developmental disability tended to be characteristically juvenile. That is, it was usually inappropriate for a twenty-year-old to listen to patronizing tunes about counting to three, for example, even if this twenty-year-old is developmentally much younger than his/her age.

With “Songs About Us” however, the listener is treated to a musical mélange of rock n’ roll, pop, folk, country and other contemporary styles that are better suited to someone above elementary school level and to those of younger years, too.

Also, the music itself compliments the lessons expressed in the songs, often involving dancing and physical movements accompanying the tune. This feature makes it comprehensive enough to use either at home, or in the classroom, and further enhances the motor and coordination skills at the same time.

And, while a recording such as this EP is certainly a useful tool in the classroom for teachers, aides, and specialists, it can also be implemented out of the classroom – in the offices of clinical therapists, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, and, naturally, music therapists.

In closing, “Songs About Us” is the definitive and fresh face of “Edutainment” that will please listeners of all ages and abilities. It’s fun to listen to, and will help all of those on this spectrum who might benefit from reminders about basic life skills and other essential lessons.