Jay Sand teaching an All Around This World class

All Around This World is a unique, interactive global music and world cultures program for children 0-9 years old that encourages children and their families to explore the world by enjoying global music, rhythms and movement. Jay Sand, guitarist and children’s music teacher, world traveler and dad of three girls developed All Around This World with his girls as a way to introduce them to the countries he’s already visited and the many more he plans to visit with them. Through CDs, concerts and workshops, dynamic online classes, engaging homeschool and classroom lessons, “musical maps” and participatory parent-child music-making Jay hopes to make the world a bit smaller one song at a time.

All Around This World is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of All Around This World must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donate here.

How to sing with Jay each week in your home or classroom Support All Around This World on Patreon Enjoy interactive All Around This World lessons in your home or classroom


Tahitian Rhythms are Frantically Fantastic

In class this week we travel to Tahiti where we learn Tahitian rhythms by turning our drums on their sides and sharply slamming the frame to simulate a drum known as a “to’ere” (toe-wed-day) , a hollowed log piece of wood (usually “milo” wood). Accomplished Tahitian drummers like us hit the to’ere with a stick called a “ra’au.” they — we — hit the drum with one ra’au that makes a sharp sound on the wood.

Lau Lupe: Pigeons, Girls Dancing . . . and Death?

“Lau Lupe” is a song from Samoa that we sing it in class today with joy, though we know the things we love now will eventually be gone: “watch the pigeons fly oh so where did they go…?” According to this translation on BigBigSing.org, the song lands much more on the side of longing: “My dove has flown, Flown into the vast wilderness, My poor Love. My Love is lost, A group of girls I see heading my way, My eyes are searching, Looking if you’re in that group. My beautiful rose, My rose of velvet, My rose flower is killed, But has not blossomed yet.”

Tahitian Rhythms at Home in Huahine

Tahitian rhythms are a joy to try with our kidsy drums in in our classroom, but we can hardly imagine how much fun these musicians are having playing real Tahitian drums on their real French Polynesian island of Huahine. Why are we not with them?

Princess Hiriata and her Vahine Warriors!

To get us in the mood for the week we’ll be spending in our “Everything is a Drum” classes focusing on Tahitian rhythms, let’s enjoy a dance performance by Princess Hiriata and her Vahine Warriors. This is a Tahitian “‘o’tea,” a rhythm dance that uses hip-shaking moves and narrative hand motions to tell stories that resonate culturally in Polynesia. Learn more about Polynesian dances at Polynesiandance.weebly.com.

Arabic Rhythms — Dancing in the Desert

We leave this week of “Everything is a Drum” class introducing on West Asian/Middle Eastern rhythms with a video of dancing in the desert. We’re not sure where this dancing is taking place — the video is called “Desert rhythm arab music arabian dance” — but now that we’ve learned some basic Arabic drum beats and are eager to know more, how can can we not dance along? Next week in class: Oceania and the Pacific Islands.

You can do it too! Arabic Drumming with Joe

This week in class the little kids and I learned Arabic rhythms and we’re sure you can too. Spend a few minutes with my friend Joe Tayoun, Philadelphia-based musician and teacher extaordinaire, as he leads a workshop on world drumming. You don’t need a darbuka…just drum.

YaHalaly Yamalay…yes!

Today in class we sing the Palestinian/Lebanese party song “YaHalaly Yamalay” — the capital H indicates a throaty Arabic pronunciation. We don’t just dance the dabke though, as we would at a wedding or any wild party, we focus on the diversity of Arabic rhythms. In class the teacher calls out a number of beats — 5! 9! 15! — and the kids stomp that many times, remembering that 7 is generally a lucky number, 13 not as much.