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[Update: SO MANY THANKS to everyone who helped make All Around This World's 2013 crowdfunding campaign a success. Many children will learn many wonderful things about the world because of your support! The All Around This World crowdfunding campaign is closed for now, but you can still support the cause. There are still many CDs to produce! I'll update this page soon with information about where AATW is heading from here and what support is necessary to help it get there.]

My name is Jay and I'm a music teacher and dad of three girls (4-9 years old). In my pre-dad days I spent a lot of my time traveling the globe, guitar in hand, connecting with people everywhere by sharing music, all the while opening my mind to "the great out there." I developed the All Around This World global music program so I could give my kids, their friends and kids everywhere that same opportunity--to meet the world though music without their actually having to strap on a backpack and hit the road.

I need to raise $40,000 to support the expansion of All Around This World from its current incarnation--essentially a private parent/child global music class based out of my West Philadelphia living room--into a truly global music program that is available everywhere to little kids from all economic, social and cultural backgrounds.

Your support will help create a set of family-friendly global music CDs that will form the backbone of the program. These CDs will ultimately feature several hundred songs that originate in over 150 languages. Seriously!

Want to know more? Enjoy the videos embedded on this page as you read on! Are you already convinced and just want to know how you can contribute? Click here.

Watch this video for an introduction to All Around This World, where Jay is planning to take it and why he really needs your support:


All Around This World is a unique, interactive music program for children 0-8 years old that encourages kids and their families to explore the world by enjoying great global melodies, rhythms and movement.

Since starting All Around This World in my West Philadelphia living room in 2009 I've developed what I think is a very special curriculum consisting of almost 300 songs that originate from more than 100 countries, each of which I've adapted so English-speaking families can actually SING ALONG, presented as part of 12 distinct "seasons" of material (three years worth of original lesson plans). This enables the kids and their caregivers who take my classes to develop a direct connection with the many histories and cultures of the people who originated that music as we sing, dance and move together. [Check out the countries All Around This World classes have visited.] [Check out the songs that are part of the AATW curriculum.]


Right now AATW parent/child classes are available only in a few locations and are mostly private classes that are accessible to families that are fortunate enough to have some disposable income. I adore my current music class families, and I also somehow seem to have the knack for disposing income, but now that I've developed what I think is a very special world music and cultures program for kids and their families I want to share it with EVERYONE.

My ultimate goal is for All Around This World to create the opportunity for every young child to meet the world through music. I want every kid, regardless of economic background, to be able to learn through the All Around This World material, be it in his or her household, in a parent/child class at a community center, at preschool or daycare, through a homeschool program, in an elementary school classroom or any other supportive environment.

(as you're reading along, watch a little video or two of kids enjoying All Around This World. "Loi Loi" is a biguine from Haiti. "Taralilalalai" is a sozanda from Uzbekistan):


Parent/child classes:
Since I started All Around This World I've taught over 1,000 classes (true!) in the service of learning how to effectively share global music and cultures with children. Over the last year I've started to work with educators in several cities around the U.S. who are eager to bring All Around This World classes to their communities (see a list of locations here) and am developing relationships with teachers so All Around This World can reach kids in more cities in 2014.

"Big kids" classes:
I'm also working hard expand my current class material into an exciting and insightful global music and cultures classroom curriculum for "big kids" (mainly 5-8 year olds) that's so engaging, effective and accessible that any teacher anywhere will be able to bring this kind of experiential, multicultural learning to his or her students.

In the spring of 2013 I started teaching in my older kids' Philadelphia public school classroom, testing out lessons that use the AATW music as a jumping-off place for project-based and experiential global cultural exploration.

I see great promise in developing this "big kids'" curriculum as a way to give children everywhere a way to access the kind of global learning All Around This World provides.

(here are some action shots of yours truly teaching the Chilean cueca, swirling scarves and all, to "big kids" at the Philadelphia Montessori Charter School, 10/29/2013):


So, if I've already developed 12 seasons of solid material and it's already working in both parent/child classes and with "big kids," why do I need your support? The short answer:


(while we're talking cds watch me recording some of the music for the All Around This World Latin America and South and Central Asia cds here. "La Gucayamaya" a son jarocho song from Mexico. We recorded "Chadagan," which is from Tuva--one of the Central Asian Russian Republics--as an "overtone" love song):

I know the compact disc is a dying medium, but by "cds" I'm not referring just to an actual, physical disc itself, but to collections of songs from the music class curriculum, recorded so kids in my classes can listen to them at home with their families. (I distribute my music digitally but still produce physical CDs because little kids like to actually literally hold onto the music. We'll see how long that lasts.)

The self-made All Around This World CDs I've given out in class--until I went into the studio to record All Around This World: Latin America with accomplished Latin musicians--work well for a kindly group of my friends and neighbors, but if I'm going to present All Around This World as a viable curriculum option for parents and schools everywhere, the recordings have to be GREAT.

My standards for music production are high, and they have to be. My goal is to record the All Around This World core curriculum songs using "authentic" instrumentation, original language vocalists and the best global music performers I can find to bring the spirit of the music from around the globe into my students' homes.

I've already made this happen with All Around This World: Latin America, which I released this October, and All Around This World: Africa Volumes 1 and 2, which are currently being mixed and should be available in time for Christmas, but in the process I've become all too aware that recording global music that's GREAT is also EXPENSIVE. I'd be happy to discuss the actual CD budgets directly with you if you're curious, but let's just say that each of the CDs I've produced so far has cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. I've creatively self-financed these projects because I wanted to demonstrate that I can actually make good music before reaching out to you to ask for your support. Now I know I can do it. And I also know I've run out of money to keep doing it.

That's why I need your help.

I truly believe the All Around This World material can make wonderful things happen in the lives of kids and their families, and can ultimately have a positive effect on the way they relate to people around the world. I need your help to make that happen.

(More from recording sessions. "Arroro" is an Argentinian lullaby. "Dudurai" is a Kazakh song about star-crossed lovers):


I thought you'd never ask!

There are two ways you can help transform these big ideas into a big reality.

1) Simple and fun, and with a tax-deduction at the end.

Like the crowdfunding projects you see on Kickstarter or Indie Go Go, All Around This World is offering special incentives to inspire you to get yourself and your family into the groove. On the right column of this page you'll see some awesome options that will not only get you AATW CDs and Musical Maps, but will get you other intangible forms of enjoyment.

If you pay taxes in the United States your contribution will be tax-deductible because I've been fortunate enough to connect with Positive Space, a Philadelphia-based artist-supporting 501c-3 non-profit that is "dedicated to creating a network of local artists to exchange ideas and resources, creating new opportunities for artists and integrating art into the community in which we live." Thanks, Positive Space, for your confidence and support as the All Around This World CD project's fiscal sponsor.

CLARIFICATON: All Around This World is a for-profit, limited liability company (LLC). Poisitive Space is a separate entity and is a 501c3-designated charitable organization. Positive Space is the non-profit fiscal sposor only for my All Around This World CD Project. Donations to this crowdfunding campaign through Positive Space (option 1) will be used specifically to reimburse me the expense of of creating future All Around This World CDs (paying for recording studios, musicians, etc.) These donations will be tax-deductible. Direct sales of already-completed CDs and musical maps through All Around This World's online store (option 2, read below) are not tax-deductible, but I'll be able to use the funds to support the creation of any content, whether CDs, musical maps or anything else.

listen to music on the All Around This World: Latin America CD here and check out the AATW: Latin America Musical Map here: (fun!)

2) Also simple: Buy the stuff AATW has produced so far and is working on creating for you and your kids. Click here to go to the AATW Online Store

Visit the All Around This World store and you will be able to buy or pre-order sooooo many exciting things, such as the two All Around This World: Africa CDs and the really exciting new All Around This World: Latin America musical map,

WHY PRE-ORDER CDs and MUSICAL MAPS? Like most crowdfunding projects, this plea for funds is not about the past, but the future. If 750 pre-orders of any region's AATW CD or 250 of any region's musical map come in I'll be able to kick that project into production, no matter what the planned release date. The more future projects you support, the closer that future will become.

Which helps AATW more, option 1 or 2? Honestly, whether you donate or pre-order, I'll love you forever. The premiums will only be available until the crowdfunding campaign is over, but if you want to put your hard-earned $60 forth as a donation or go to the online store and pre-order a half dozen CDs, you'll still be helping make this project happen.


All Around This World will not--will not not not--be able to significantly expand its positive impact without your help. If you want to play an integral part in opening the minds of kids and families of all backgrounds to the great wide world, please throw in your support.

USE THE SHARING LINKS ALONG THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE TO SPREAD THE WORD USING SOCIAL MEDIA. If you know anyone who blogs or writes for any kind of publication, online or off, that you think might be interested in letting me blather to them about my maniacal scheme to introduce all the children of the world to one another through music, let me know.


The All Around This World CD Project is a project of PositiveSpace, a Fishtown-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to create a network of local artists to exchange creative ideas and to promote new opportunities for emerging and established artists in the community.


raised of $40,000 goal!!!!!!!!!
(includes donations, sales from store, and a last-minute incredibly generous pledge from a last-minute incredibly genrous donor. THANK YOU!!!!!!!)

Even though the 2013 crowdfunding campaign is over there are still many, many CDs to produce, and my goodness they'll cost a lot to do right. Here's your chance to help make the music happen. Your donations will be deductible for the 2014 tax year.

Donate $25 or more
One AATW CD of your choice, sent to you in the mail when it's ready, a priority digital download of that CD (digital files that will become available to you before the physical CD is released) and a gushing thank you on website. Make the donation by clicking on the words "Donate $25 or more" and using the Positive Space paypal site (you can donate by credit card with paypal account required) and I'll contact you to ask which CD you'd like.

Donate $60 or more
One AATW CD of your choice, sent to you in the mail when it's ready, a priority digital download of that CD, a gushing thank you on website, and one complete set of ten full color in-class handouts that feature a country-by-country tour through the curriculum of the same region as your CD. These handouts, which are not currently for sale and are only available if you take All Around This World classes, are colorful half pages with information about each week's lesson on the front and a section of that region's musical map on the back. Put all the handouts together and you'll make the full musical map of that region. THAT'S COOL! (See examples of the handouts.) (From now on, we'll call this package "the basics." Quantities of each region's set of handouts are limited.)
Donate $75 or more
"The basics," plus one AATW musical map 24" x 36" poster--any region you'd like, sent to you when it's ready--which I'll sign with a thank you. Click here to see an interactive example of the AATW Latin America Musical Map.
Donate $100 or more
"The basics," plus one truly global musical map--the BIG map, the one with all the genres, instruments and AATW songs from all the regions of world, when it's ready, which I'll sign with a thank you I don't know yet how big I'm going to make it or how much I'm going to charge for it, but it's going to be big and expensive and AWESOME and you'll get first dibs.
Donate $200 or more
"The basics," plus one musical phone call (I'll call you and your kids on the phone and sing any 3 AATW songs of your choice, using their names in the songs where that makes sense :).
Donate $250 or more
"The basics," plus one musical skype call (I'll video-skype with you and your kids and sing 3 AATW songs of your choice, using their names in the songs and getting everyone up and dancing).
Donate $500 or more
"The basics," plus one 1/2 hour long private music class via skype just for you, your family and friends.
Donate $1000 or more
Either a FULL SET of all AATW physical Cds--that will ultimately be 23 CDs!--or a FULL set of all AATW Musical Maps--that will come out to 13 maps (each individual region plus the whole-world one)!--mailed to you as they become available. Plus a huge thank you on website.
Donate $2500 or more
I will come to wherever you are within a 3 hour driving distance of Philadelphia and play a special 45 minute class for your family and friends (that includes all my transport, any lodging, etc.). Plus a full set of all the AATW CDs and all Musical Maps, sent to you as they become available, and much praise on the website.
Donate $5,000 or more
I will come to wherever you are in the Continental U.S. and play a special 45-minute class (all expenses included), plus a full set of all the AATW CDs and all Musical Maps, sent to you as they become available, and many super-shoutouts on the AATW site.
There are ways to help out very substantially and make a real mark on this project, from becoming an executive producer for one of the CDs to financially supporting other elements of All Around This World's growth. If you want to think big, by all means be in touch.

If you're extra kind and supportive you can sign up through Positive Space to automatically donate a little bit each month to help keep All Around This World going. A little donation each month would go an incredibly long way.


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