I was blessed to serve as coach and counselor to a colorful tween and teen choir known as "Lessia's Crew" for a magical decade. During this awesome adventure, I discovered I could greatly empower students by sprinkling life wisdoms into songs that were addictively fun to sing. Lectures are easily tuned out, but potent song lyrics gently change perspectives. After "Lessia's Crew" became "a Santa Barbara phenom!" (Montecito Journal,) we began recording our wisdom-packed tunes in a top notch studio. Backed by a pro band that included Justin Timberlake's drummer, the result was amazing. After discovering other teachers were using our material in their own classrooms and with their own choirs, I was inspired me to create "I am Bullyproof" - co-creating ELA and music units that include our songs. Themes include kindness, authenticity, grit, mindfulness, loyalty in friendship, dealing with anxiety and worry, anti bullying, and caring about the world.
Young people who are self aware are rarely mean spirited. Bullyproof material is packed with reasons to be kind.
I was touched to tears when a student chose my songs as her "hero" for a classroom project. One of the Beach Boys asked me to write with him; that was pretty cool. Prize-winning BP songs have been featured on award-winning documentaries and films, but a hug from any student is always the best reward of all. Recently an alumni Crew member wrote me: "I work at Google now. They keep handing everyone mindfulness books to help them chill, but I don't need any. I'm relaxed because of all those songs you taught me in HS. No stressing for me!" #proudteachermoment!
USC's program for gifted students, Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Music Academy of the West, Dick Grove (contemp). Unit cohorts: Dru Frick: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, experienced in inquiry based learning, International Baccalaureate trained. Retta London - see Rainbow City Learning. Aileen Miracle - see Aileen Miracle.
Voices on our studio tracks include Jessie Bridges - daughter of actor Jeff, and Viva - daughter of Martin from the band "Depeche Mode." I've co-produced with Alan Thicke (Growing Pains,) consulted for MTV rock bands, created and produced SBTV's "Enlightenment Stew." Being a mom has been my favorite adventure of all. My hubby and I live in Napa on a hill we share with deer - right above downtown. We absolutely appreciate each moment. I am Bullyproof is my way of giving back.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Reading, Specialty, Social Studies - History, Arts & Music, Music, Music Composition, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Other (Music), Drama, Health, Other (Specialty), Other (Social Studies - History), Life Skills, Gifted and Talented, Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Classroom Management, School Counseling, Psychology, Character Education, Writing, Oral Communication, Reading Strategies, Holidays/Seasonal, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Poetry, Winter, For All Subjects, School Psychology, Close Reading, Classroom Community