All Around This World class in action

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  dynamic online classes,  CDs, concerts and workshopsengaging 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


Make it Minsk

The capital of Belarus, Minsk, has survived being literally flattened during World War II to rise again in grand Soviet style.

As we end our week of music and joy from Belarus, let’s take a quick sing-out to its capital, a city that boasts wide boulevards, vast public squares and Soviet-era architecture on a grand scale. Though it also carries the weight of its current autocracy, complete with KGB-style secret police, rumors of wire taps and spies, and the constant threat of a government crack-down, Minsk’s musicians, as we see in this video, can certainly sing.

A Super Summer in Belarus

If you want to be hopeful for any summer to come, journey to Belarus with me to to celebrate Kupalle.

One of the most important traditional holidays in Belarus is the summer solstice holiday of Kupalle. The holiday originated as a celebration of fertility in honor a female God named Kupala, which means “She Who Bathes.” It has also more recently become a Christian celebration of both the birthday of John the Baptist and of Saint Ivan Kupala. Whatever one’s religious leaning, Belarusians who celebrate Kupalle — increasingly fewer as Belarus urbanizes — do so, as we see in this video, by flocking to forests, wearing flower garlands, going to saunas or to cold water springs to “bathe,” dancing in karagods (circles around fires) and even jumping over fires. A guaranteed ton of fun.

Your Favorite Band from Belarus

You may already have your favorite Byelorussian psychedelic folk-rock band of all time, just as I have mine. I’d be darned if they’re not the same…PESNIARY!

The beloved band from the nation now known as Belarus first rocketed to fame in 1971 with their first album, Pesnyary (I), in which they vibrantly reinterpreted traditional Byelorussian songs as psychedelic rock anthems. Pesniary rarely ruffled the feathers of the Communist leadership, and the Soviets granted the band reasonable freedom, awarding them the title “People’s Artist” and allowing them to tour the U.S. Missed them in the ’70s? Follow their page and you may catch them today. And don’t they look amazing?

Bring It On, Belarus!

All Around This World Eastern Europe featuring Belarus

This week in our online class we ventured to the historically polynomous Belarus where we danced in the forests and celebrate Soviet-era mustaches. Let’s learn about a bold and persistent nation that is still struggling to come into its own as an independent country in the post-Cold War world.

We visit Belarus and SING!

Enjoy this week’s live class! If you want to join the fun, check out the livecast class schedule and contact me to be “in the room” on Zoom. If you can’t make it to Zoom, watch live classes, or watch anytime, on All Around This World’s facebook page. This week in class we sang “We Are Happy,” “Mela Babka,” “TurejaLiepa,” “Vesno Krasna,” and “Shepherd’s Life Az Elet.” We also celebrated the summer solstice holiday of Kupalle.


Jay teaching Livecast classes


When you click the link below you’ll be able to put an event reminder on a Google Calendar. If you’d like to come to class in Zoom, CONTACT ME FOR THE LOGIN INFO. Ideally we’ll communicate before the day of class, but I do try to check my messages before my first class each day.

All times are U.S. Eastern Time, UTC-5. Registration and tuition details are here.


10am: “Kids Explore Eastern Europe” — Ukraine and the Hutsulka

If you can’t log in, watch via Facebook Live on All Around This World’s facebook page.

If you’d like to come to class on a regular basis and get lots of information each week about the countries and cultures we’re exploring, REGISTER HERE.

To enroll in amazing online courses that take your family on a musical tour of the world: EXPLORE EVERYWHERE!


Want it all? Subscribe to EXPLORE EVERYWHERE

All Around This World's Explore Everywhere Online Learning Program

EXPLORE EVERYWHERE makes every All Around This World song and cultural experience available to you and your kids. After so many years of mainly “keeping the fun in Philadelphia,” All Around This World is finally opening its entire set of courses for online subscription. Anyone with internet access, anywhere in the world, can sign up for All Around This World courses, and also “come to class” with me, joining weekly Livecasts, available on any device.

Around This World’s core curriculum consists of 12 individual courses; 10 based in geography — Africa, the Caribbean, East and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Oceania and the Pacific Islands, South and Central Asia, West Asia and the Middle East, the U.S. and Canada, Western Europe — and 2 that leap across international borders –- “Everything is a Drum” and “Connecting the Dots.” And, brand new!, “Scattered Among the Nations,” introducing multicultural Jewish music from five continents. Each course introduces 20 – 25 songs that originate from the region/s and 10 kid-friendly cultural experiences for all to enjoy.

Kids, infants to 9, will enjoy the live classes. the multimedia lessons in each course offer ample material for 5-9 years to use as a jumping-off point for ’round the clock learning.

Families can register for any of the courses individually for a one-time fee, or they can choose the primo “Explore Everywhere” option subscribe the entire kit-and caboodle, getting All-Access to the 12 main courses. Top price for that plan is $5 a week but every course will be available on a pay-what-you-want/free-for-those-in-need basis — no one turned away for lack of funds.

I know you’ll enjoy being able to access the lessons any time, and particularly get a kick out of meeting me “in person” by joinging the livecasts. See you in class!

The Baltic Way is Our Way Too

In class this week we introduce our kiddos to “The Baltic Way,” the 1989 “hands across the Baltics” 400 mile human chain that unified the nations against the Soviet Union. In our humble how-to video we celebrate the Baltic nations’ strength, bravery and pride by linking arms in class. (Forgive us for mumbling through the Estonian nation anthem.)

Estonia’s Extraordinary “Singing Revolution”

The story of Estonia’s “Singing Revolution” is one of All Around This World’s absolute favorite tales of music changing the world.

In 1991 Estonia, facing staggering uncertainty and every sort of threat, boldly declared independence from the Soviet Union. During that time the Estonian people gathered in the thousands to sing forbidden patriotic songs, asserting their cultural and political self-determination and achieving it non-violently.  The inspiring 2007 documentary, “The Singing Revolution,” tells this tale. Learn about the film here.

Everyone in Estonia is Singing

Is there anything more wondrous — musically, communally and, when you learn more, politically — than Estonian choral singing?

Every five years, Estonians converge on Tallinn for the massive Estonian Song and Dance Celebration and they sing national Estonian songs. This particular Estonian choral singing tradition  started in 1869 when about 1,000 members of men’s choirs and brass bands performed. After World War II the Soviets forced the inclusion of children’s choirs, raising the number of participants substantially, and insisted that the repertoire include foreign songs. Today, over 100,000 gather in Estonia for the event; up to 30,000 are in the choir, 80,000 are in the audience. Want to go? Make your reservation TODAY!