Social skills are important in helping smooth our way through life – but they’re not something we talk about a lot. An album out this spring from SoCal singer/songwriter Kerry Fenster makes the conversation musical.
“Songs About Us,” from the independent Muzic School label, is a collection of five tunes aimed at teaching social skills to children and young adults with developmental delays. The album was inspired by Fenster’s work with children with autism at The Help Group, and was executive produced by music executive Richie Gallo, who has worked with artists ranging from Sting to Raffi and founded the Muzic School label – which is dedicated to producing quality educational music that entertains people with special needs and provides them with practical tools.
“Songs About Us” kicks off with a friendly greeting from one of Fenster’s music students, inviting listeners to “celebrate the joy of neurodiversity.” Original tracks include “Quiet Hands,” a catchy tune with an almost reggae vibe; “Use Your Words,” which teaches about speaking up (respectfully); the mellow “Hygiene,” extolling the virtues of toothpaste, soap and clean clothes as a morning and evening routine; and the bouncy “Personal Space,” which urges listeners to step away “arm’s length” when they’re feeling boxed in.
The disk also includes a cover of The Who’s iconic “Pinball Wizard,” updated for this context: “That cute, cool, kind kid sure plays a mean pinball!” At the end of the album, a young man named Spencer says farewell and gives the credits.
“Kerry has created some exciting music for a very special group of people,” says Executive Producer Gallo. “Supporting a generation with new music that might just make a difference in some lives is certainly a worthwhile project.”
“Songs About Us” is available on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.com as a digital download for $6.99 or a CD for $12. Both formats include music and song lyrics. A portion of proceeds will be donated to children’s charities. Learn more at www.muzicschool.com.