I was happy to receive 5 CDs from Stan Slaughter, the Eco-Troubadour. For the last few weeks I have been popping his various CDs in the player, and watching how my kids react (usually wild and uncontained hopping, wiggling and a sideways skip sort of a move that is my 3 year old’s signature move). Let me back up.
Stan Slaughter has been making music about the environment for over 25 years. He’s taken every environmental topic, from composting, hazardous waste, recycling, solid waste and aquatic ecosystems, and turned them into countless songs to teach and inspire. Stan has traveled the country performing his environmental music to over 500,000 students and adults.
Stan’s music is no shrinking violet. He rocks out in many of the tunes, with serious guitar licks, so if you are looking for something light, all acoustic or bluegrass, this may not be it. But anyone who can turn the concept of an aquifer into a song has my respect.
There is a lot of science in this music, and Stan is not afraid to dish it out. There are many songs that as a middle level science teacher I know are sharing great foundations for the study of science. Not all the songs worked as well as others, but most had a catchy beat, and more importantly a fantastic environmental message.
My favorite had to be the compilation of environmental songs called In Tune with the Species. These are songs from the last 25 years from various artists about the environment. Classics such as “Habitat” by Bill Oliver and “All God’s Creatures” by Bill Staines grace this mix, as well as some of Stan’s best such as the “Six Leg Boogie”.
At times when the music just wasn’t working for me, I turned to see my 3 year old bopping around the room. She’d say, “Did he just say COMPOSTING?” and laugh, and I’d know that this really isn’t about what I like. My daughter picked up on some of the words she knows from our family life just after a few listens. And that means something. Because as much as we teach our kids our environmental values, it helps to have it reinforced and extended through songs, and that is exactly what Stan does.
These CDs, Water All Over the World, In Tune with the Species, Rot N’ Roll, Unintended Consequences, and My Green Dream, are all excellent tools for elementary science teachers, music teachers who want to integrate environmental themes, and environmental educators.
You can find all of Stan’s music at www.stanslaughter.com.
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