News of Life: KJ's Newsletter
Happy LIFE! I’m hoping you’re doing well in your life journey, too. From time to time, I like to update music followers as to what’s happening in my crazy world of music projects. So here goes…
I’m excited again to say I continue to love my music life. And thank you for being such a great part of it in supporting the arts…and me!
For the last couple of years, I’ve been on contract with the PA Department of Agriculture in bringing music education into schools throughout our commonwealth. Much of the subject matter has to do with healthy living through nutritional-food related song lyrics and exercise! What a blast. These kids are keeping me young! In many of these schools, sadly, the students eat three meals a day at school since their home lives are in turmoil much of the time. So, in conjunction with area food trusts and awesome teachers, we’re teaching kids that yogurt is a much healthier snack than chocolate bars for breakfast and that healthy eating can lead to more productive lives.
I’m now traveling with three children/family CDs in tow…see the complete CD listing at the end of this newsletter - and I hope to produce yet another family CD soon! Thanks to my good friend and producer, Kimbo Reichley, for continuing to inspire me in that direction!
I’ve completed some residency work in the northern tier of Pennsylvania, working with Headstart and Kindergarten teachers – matching my songwriting and student songwriting with the lesson plans to meet – and go beyond – the objectives of the classroom. What great young people we have out there - we just need to keep them on the right path. Thanks to the Council on the Arts for much of the funding! Let’s keep this going – we sure need the arts - now more than ever!
In schools, I’m also many times hired to perform assemblies on other subject matters such as bullying, the importance of focus, environmental respect, and much more. I love the challenge in designing school workshops and assemblies to fit the current curriculum…and yes, meeting the National education standards --- just what the teachers want and appreciate!
I was blessed this year to also been hired for many Motivational speaking gigs for women’s conferences and healthcare summits. Positive attitude takes you such a long way in life. With this “shift in economy,” I’m actually doing my best to use this energy for more creative work for all different types of audiences. And I’m seeing a good shift in beginning to see more families spend more time with one another and less time in the office or in corporate affairs. There are blessings in what may otherwise appear to be struggles.
My folks are celebrating 77 years of life this year so I’m doing my best to also take gigs that allow me to sleep in my own bed sometimes…and stop in to visit my family when I can. I continue to be inspired by them. But as the world whispers, “KJ, come out and play again!” I need to go out beyond the home turf tethering cord. But there are so many great people out there like you…and others yet to meet.
This summer is filled with special needs camps again and some hospital bedside time in hopes of bringing some peace to those who may be challenged with some health issues. I feel privileged to be able to do this kind of “work.” Very honored, indeed. (You can find background of KJSmile, Inc. (my non-profit) on this website.)
Seasonal concert series, festivals, coffeehouses and much more also keep me hopping and I’m thrilled to see so many parts of America and beyond. I continue to write, as time allows, and always love hearing from you out there on life’s road. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration – and for sharing your energy with me just as I need it, too! Don’t forget to check out my other pages online, as well as my music, to celebrate life a bit more!
Projects currently available by KJ:
- Oliver’s Quiet (with the Sweetwater Reunion band)
- Dreaming Inside Her Mind
- Proud to be a Farmer
- Simply Kids!
- Agriculture is a BIG Word!
- Farms, Food & FUN!
Enjoy the sunny season! Cheers!