Inspired by Students, LAUSD Teacher Michael Ryther Releases Earth Day Album for Kids

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After writing songs to enhance his students’ lessons on ecology and conservation, Los Angeles Unified teacher and musician Michael Ryther announces the Earth Day release of his album, "Kids of the Earth – Songs for the Green Generation".

Singer Songwriter Michael Ryther jumps with guitar

Singer Songwriter and Teacher Michael Ryther

I truly believe this generation will be the one to save the planet and they’ll need a soundtrack to go along with their heroics!

Just in time for Earth Day, Los Angeles elementary teacher and singer songwriter Michael Ryther will be releasing an album of eco-conscious children’s music that was originally written for his first graders. The album, "Kids of the Earth – Songs for the Green Generation", will be released on April 26th at a community Earth Day celebration and concert at Center for the Arts Eagle Rock.    

Born from classroom necessity, Michael Ryther’s Earth Day album began in a fit of frustration. While teaching his first graders a unit on ecology and conservation, Michael noticed that, although his students had a natural affinity for plants and animals, they had little interest in discussions about the planet as a whole. “Whenever I started talking about the Earth, their eyes would glaze over,” says the Los Angeles teacher and songwriter. “So I picked up a guitar and started singing as if I was the Earth. That caught their attention big time!”

“Not only did they love singing the song, but my students also began to identify with the concerns of the planet. Personifying the planet and having them take on her voice proved very effective.” His students’ newfound empathy for the Earth had tangible results. One student got his family to start recycling because he was worried the Earth would “get sick”. Another, out of concern for the planet’s health, got her family to pick up trash while hiking.    

That first song, “Reduce Reuse Recycle” proved such a success with his first graders that Michael decided to write more. After writing songs on composting, gardening, global warming, organic food, Earth Day and other eco-friendly topics, he realized he had a themed album on his hands.

“I have my students to thank for these songs. Without them this album would not exist. I truly believe this generation will be the one to save the planet and they’ll need a soundtrack to go along with their heroics!” Michael said.

To help kick off the album’s release, Michael is teaming up with Center for the Arts Eagle Rock to create a community Earth Day event and concert. In addition to a concert featuring Michael and his band performing songs from the album, the event will include arts and craft activities that celebrate sustainability and eco-awareness. Tickets for the April 26th, 3pm event are available at http://cfaer.org

In honor of Earth Day and the album’s release, Michael is also releasing a youtube video for his song “Why Can’t Every Day Be Earth Day?” and is giving away two free tracks from the album, "Kids of the Earth – Songs for the Green Generation", at his website http://www.michaelrythermusic.com

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