Q: Who is Mr. Harry?
A: First and foremost, I'm a TEACHER! I currently teach Kindergarten at Myers Elementary School in Bellwood, PA. In my 8th year of teaching, I've found there is no better way to connect with youngsters in the classroom than through music and movement. I live in Altoona, PA, with my beautiful wife, Jen and 2-year old daughter, Justice. My brother ALSO teaches Kindergarten in inner-city Atlanta, GA, and has collaborated with me on several song projects.
Q: How did Harry Kindergarten get started?
A: I had originally started making a few random songs and videos for my classroom kids back in 2009, hoping that my students would be able to learn and connect on YouTube with their parents in a home setting each night (http://www.youtube.com/harrykindergarten). However, once I noticed other teachers and parents starting to frequent the YouTube site more often, I realized the power of sharing my educational "creations" with the world. 46 million views later, "Harry Kindergarten" has become a familiar name in early childhood learning and I'm delighted to sell digital song downloads and a selection of videos on this very website!
Q: Is your first name Harry?
A: Nope! First name Pete... last name Harry
Q: Do you have a music CD, or just digital downloads?
A: For now, I'm solely offering digital song downloads, in the .m4a format (plays/burns just like mp3's). I'm constantly coming out with new music, so instead of offering a categorized "CD" and then bopping myself for making one more "math" song and having nowhere to put it, I've gone the route of digital downloads. No, they are not on iTunes yet, but may be in the future. A few of the songs are also available to purchase as a video (see below).
Q: I love your song downloads. Can I purchase your videos from YouTube too?
A: Some yes and some no. Unfortunately, when I started Harry Kindergarten Music, I was just throwing together random content for my classroom kids only, never thinking that anyone would want to buy it. Various parts of a number of videos I've created contain images I've acquired from various locations on the Internet that I may not always own the rights to. In other words, I can offer the videos for free viewing on YouTube, but not offer all of them for purchase at this point. However, several of the NEWER videos are available for purchase on this website.
Q: I like your videos. What should I do if YouTube is blocked at my school?
A: Option 1- See if the video is available for purchase on this website. Most of the "newer" songs can be purchased here. Option 2- Search for the video you like on Google and see if any other video sites have picked it up... (ex: schooltube, etc.) Option 3: Please strongly consider purchasing music files directly from me here! As educators and people of integrity, I'm encouraging fans of Harry Kindergarten Music to always consider buying the song files directly from me, and not burning copies from friends or any other shortcuts. Thanks!
Q: What does your music sound like?
A: My children's music is a blend of styles, with many of the songs containing rap and hip-hop. Nonetheless, every song is fun and educational. I believe strongly that music for kids does not always have to sound "cheesy," even for younger-aged children. My music is heavily influenced by Jack Hartmann, who I got to meet at a teacher conference in 2009. Please consider checking out Jack's stuff too! (http://www.jackhartmann.com); Also, if you like Dr. Jean, Shari Sloane, Rhonda Crigger, Greg and Steve, or Mark D. Pencil, you'll definitely enjoy Harry Kindergarten Music!
Q: How do most teachers use Harry Kindergarten music?
A: My music can be used in a whole host of ways in the classroom. Many Pre K-2 teachers highlight my songs in their morning opening time or calendar time, sometimes utilizing an interactive whiteboard or PowerPoint. Many of the songs can be used for transitions in the classroom (walking to the carpet, changing positions, etc.) and of course just for general teaching of standards-based concepts. I personally have a defined song time each morning in my own class, where music and movement is the centerpiece! I've also sold hundreds of songs to educators who are looking for snazzy end-of-the-year graduation songs for their class to sing to parents. Please contact me if you'd like suggestions.
Q: Do you collaborate with educators?
A: While I am extremely busy, I've had hundreds of terrific phone calls and e-mails with various educators as a result of Harry Kindergarten Music, and love to collaborate. If you have any ideas for a song, just want to "chat education," or have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the "CONTACT" tab on this website's menu.
Q: Do you speak at conferences, do school visits, etc.?
A: YES. While my schedule is tight (I am a real classroom teacher!), I do take on speaking engagements at teacher conferences, schools, etc… Please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com, or through the "CONTACT" tab on this website's menu to set up a speaking engagement. I typically speak on the use of music and technology in the early childhood classroom. Rates/prices vary depending on the event.