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“ Campbell: Children's singer, musician making stops all over the county By Jasmine Leyva, email@example.com POSTED: 07/19/2016 06:01:25 PM PDT | UPDATED: 3 DAYS AGO Campbell resident Sean Mendelson has a new album called 'Love and Music.' Mendelson will be performing at various locations around Santa Clara Valley, including the Sunnyvale Public Library on July 26, at Children's Discovery Museum on July 28 and the Cupertino Library on Aug. 30. Sean Mendelson's experience from playing in various rock bands is evident in his music--never mind that his songs are geared toward a younger audience. Since 2013, the Campbell resident has been writing and performing alternative-rock children's songs. In support of his third album, "Love and Music," Mendelson is preparing to perform at multiple locations in Santa Clara County this month and next. Most of his shows will be free. I wanted to make something that parents would want to listen to, too," Mendelson said, adding he aspires to be a 21st-century Raffi, a well-known children's musician. Mendelson's debut album, "Crank Out the Music," was released in 2013, and the next one, "High Five," in 2014. Mendelson said songs in "Love and Music" were inspired by the November terrorist attacks in Paris. I thought, 'What could I do to bring love and happiness in the world?' " he said, noting the main theme of his new album is the importance of love and sharing love during tough times. Though Mendelson has not reached rock-star heights, he says his kids view him as a local celebrity. Mendelson has two children, ages 6 and 8, who not only sing in his albums but also perform with him at shows. It's a fun experience," Mendelson said, adding that his family is like a smaller version of the Partridge Family. "I thought they'd be sick of me by now. When he's not performing with his two children, Mendelson teaches for Music Together, which holds classes in community and recreation centers throughout the county. Mendelson's career in children's music developed at Music Together, where he's worked since graduating in 2002 from Santa Clara University. Music Together is a research-based program that stresses the importance of introducing music to children at an early age. I always had an affinity for children," Mendelson said. "Children are the most rewarding audience. When Mendelson isn't performing for a live audience, he makes YouTube videos focusing on music education. Upcoming performances Sunnyvale Public Library: July 26, 11 a.m. 665 W. Olive Ave. Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose: July 28, noon. 180 Woz Way. Admission is $13. Hicklebee's Children's Books: Aug. 18, 3 p.m. 1378 Lincoln Ave., Willow Glen. Cupertino Library: Aug. 30, 10:15 a.m. 10800 Torre Ave. For more information about Sean Mendelson's music, visit seansmusicfactory.com andyoutube.com/c/seansmusicfactory. ” - Jasmine Leyva
““Up down side to side/Flap your wings/Do the dragonfly.” These are the lines of a new track found in the third album of Sean’s Music Factory’s “Love and Music,” produced by Terry Carleton at the Bones and Knives studio. The album was released on Thursday, May 12 on the Internet and is available for purchase at San Jose’s Hicklebee’s bookstore and at live performances. The music video for “Dragonfly,” found on “Sean’s Music Factory” YouTube Channel has been receiving plenty of positive responses. The chorus is easy for a child to sing along to, the educational lyrics tell about the complexities of dragonflies and the playful chords inspire movement. “I was having a tough time naming the album. I threw out the track list with my sister-in-law and she suggested naming the album ‘Love and Music,’” says Sean Mendelson, the lead vocalist and musician behind Sean’s Music Factory. “The song ‘Love and Music’ is my way of inspiring future generations to combat any darkness that is in the world. When I was finishing the album, the attack on Paris occurred. So I decided to seize the souls of my listeners and introduce the idea of love, an idea that’s in a lot of music.” Some of the album tracks have contrasts; some tunes speed up and slow down and some tunes move from loud to soft. For example, “Two Little Blackbirds” is a traditional song that Mendelson wrote a new melody for and rearranged so he could show a contrast between high and low notes. While teaching, Mendelson demonstrates these high and low notes by raising his hand high or dipping it low. “I’ve discovered over the years teaching children that the biggest effect of drawing children in with music is with contrast,” Mendelson says. “Stretching the boundaries even further by stopping the music entirely or speeding up completely out of rhythm is also a fun way to keep children’s attention.” Both of Mendelson’s children performed backup vocals on four of the eleven tracks on “Love and Music.” For example, Mendelson’s son, Logan, did a comedy bit on “Open and Shut Them.” Mendelson explains how the song “Kindergarten Shoes” came about. “Literally, the day before kindergarten, my daughter Jillian started singing ‘I got my kindergarten shoes and I’m ready to move,’” Mendelson says. “I turned to my wife and I said ‘stop everything.’ I pulled out my guitar at the breakfast table. Then Jillian wrote the three verses that are in the song.” Mendelson will be performing at San Jose State University’s King Library on May 21 at 3 p.m. in the children’s section. Follow Sean’s Music Factory on Facebook for details about other upcoming shows.” - Cynthia Cheng
“Children dance under a raised rainbow parachute to the song, “What Child is This.” They manage instruments to the piano tune of “Linus and Lucy.” And they let their parents cuddle with them in a dimmed room to “Silent Night.” These activities are part of Teacher Sean’s Holiday Jingle Jam. Santa Clara’s Parks and Recreation Department has offered this two-week holiday class for the last six years. This year’s classes run throughout December. “I grew up in a school where there would always be holiday caroling around the class, and I think it’s important that kids experience that festive feeling,” says Sean Mendelson, who also teaches the department’s year-round Music Factory classes. “Also, because of the Park and Recreation Department’s schedule, there would be a two month void of my music classes if I didn’t offer the holiday class.” In the holiday class, children and parents enjoy dancing, movement, and instrument play while singing songs to further engage them in cheery seasonal music. The lesson plans include dancing to the Nutcracker march and performing the traditional jingle bell rock. “I try to have an eclectic mix of songs, much like what I do in the Music Together program and in my albums,” Mendelson says. “I have the standards, like ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’ I also do a few Hanukkah songs, including the ‘Dreidel Song’ and ‘Rise Up Oh Flame.’ We also do one Kwanzaa song.” Mendelson feels that learning music from different cultures can help participants learn about people from other backgrounds. “Although the majority of the songs are secular or mainstream holiday songs, the advantage of teaching the ‘Dreidel Song,’ for example, is that a child who celebrates Christmas can learn how people who celebrate Hanukkah have fun with their holidays as well,” he says. Mendelson is enthusiastic about the song selection for his Jingle Jam classes. “Every song is upbeat,” he says. “They are all timeless melodies. And they’re easy to learn on the fly.” Irene Saranteas Bassalee’s two-year-old twin girls, Sophia and Eleni, are enrolled in the class. “We’ve been attending Teacher Sean’s other class, and he mentioned this holiday music class,” Bassalee says. “So we decided to come here and practice our Christmas songs with other families. My kids are having fun.”” - Cynthia Cheng