Natalie Merchant's "Leave Your Sleep" to Be Basis of 92Y Musical Program for NYC Public School Children
Natalie Merchant's 2010 Nonesuch debut album, Leave Your Sleep, will be the basis for a curriculum unit taught to 3,500 New York City public school children in grades K-3 during this 2011 fall semester. On the album, Merchant adapts the works of such poets as Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and Robert Graves into a musically kaleidoscopic, two-disc set of new songs, working with folk, jazz, reggae, and R&B players as well as gorgeously arranged chamber ensembles.
The faculty and staff of New York's 92nd Street Y's School of the Arts invited Merchant to participate in their Musical Introduction Series for the 2011-12 cycle. She was involved in the creation of both the teaching guide and the classroom workbook, led a teacher's introductory workshop, and will perform four concerts for the children at the conclusion of the unit.
"I've been receiving such a great response from parents and educators about what an effective tool Leave Your Sleep is for teaching children about both music and poetry," Merchant says. "Although I've lead several one-day workshops in the past year, this project with 92Y is hopefully just the beginning of more extended and formal collaborations in classrooms."
For more on the program, go to 92y.org.
To pick up a copy of Leave Your Sleep, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.
Natalie Merchant has a couple of public performances in the coming weeks. She joins the Nashville Symphony for a concert featuring songs from Leave Your Sleep, plus favorites from throughout her career, on Saturday, November 13. And on November 18, she adds her voice to Shelter From the Storm, a benefit concert with Levon Helm, Donald Fagen, and others at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, New York, to support local residents hit by Tropical Storm Irene. For more information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.