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


Do you Speak Dzongkha?

Do you speak Dzongkha…? Well, why the heck not?

The three most commonly spoken languages in Bhutan are Dzoongha the west, Sharchopkh in the east — both Sino-Tibetan languages — and Nepali in the south — an Indo-European language, and the traditional language of the threatened Lhotshampas.


Jay teaching Livecast classes


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 Philadelphia/New York U.S. Eastern Time, UTC-5.

11pm U.S. Eastern Time Wednesday December 1 (Thursday morning in India, China, Thursday mid-day Australia.)

7am U.S. Eastern Time Thursday December 2 (early afternoon Europe, Africa, West Asia)

10am U.S. Eastern Time Thursday December 2 (great for eastern U.S./Canada/Americas/Caribbean)

1pm U.S. Eastern Time Thursday December 2 (great for all U.S./Canada/Americas/Caribbean)

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!

Bravo for Bhutan!

All Around This World map of South and Central Asia featuring Bhutan

This week in our online class we visit Bhutan, a landlocked, consciously isolated country high in the Himalayas that tries very hard to stay exactly as it is. For a country that officially values its’ economy’s gross national product less than its citizens’ Gross National Happiness…can you blame it? Of course, there are many sides to Bhutan’s story. Bhutan is on its fifth King but only recently had its first democratically elected government. The ethnic situation Bhutan is complex — a hundred thousand Lotshampas currently live in refugee camps and accuse the government of human rights abuses. So the real Bhutan may not be Shangri-La. But don’t you still want to go

I Want to Go with You

In our online class this week we sing “Khaunla Pataima,” our version of a contemporary Nepali song about desperately wanting to be with someone you love. You can hear an original version on the Smithsonian Folkways recording “Songs and Dances of Nepal.” The liner notes grant us this fine summary: “The boy wishes to go everywhere with the girl. He says to her: ‘We will eat from the same plate. sit in the same place. and go in the same places.’ Hence, the lyrics of the All Around This World version: “Khaunla pataima, khaunla pataima, Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, Khaunla pataima. I want to go with you, I want to go with you, everywhere everywhere everywhere everywhere.”

The Hippie Trail

Going to Nepal? Let’s hop onto the “Hippie Trail.”

Nepal wasn’t a very popular travel destination for Westerners until the 1960s, when Katmandu became an endpoint on “the Hippie Trail,” the fabled road that took hippies on an overland path from London across Europe through Istanbul, Terhan, Herat, Peshawar, through India and eventually up into the Himalayan heavens. Today’s Nepal is still a popular destination for trekkers, mountain climbersspiritual explorers, cosmic partiers (like those attending the Shakti Peak Festival) and yes, even HIPPIES (a la “Freak Street.”) It is also a destination of bloggers; travelers who visit Nepal want to relay their adventures and, most of all, share what they learned with others.

New to Nepal? Not anymore.

All Around This World map of South and Central Asia (featuring Nepal)

This week’s online class for kids takes us to Nepal, a place many Westerners know as home to Sagarmatha (okay, we know it as Mt. Everest) and sure-footed Sherpas. Do we consider the country a refuge of freaky hippies or a haven for budget-travelers? How about as place to go to cleanse the soul?

Nepal is all of those things, but it’s also a linguistically and ethnically complicated nation,  undergoing historic political change while facing the challenge of substantial poverty. It’s also a deeply spiritual land — both the birthplace of Buddha and the only officially Hindu nation in the world…at least until 2006 when, facing political pressure, the country formally became secular.

The One and Only Sherten

There is only one Sherten!

In our online class this week we mentioned the Dalai Lama and Tibetan spirituality, both of which are essential to appreciating Tibetan culture, but there’s so much more to Tibet than Buddhism and the Lama. If you’re looking for modern Tibetan music, albeit with a traditional twist, you may also want to check out popular Tibetan musicians such as the one and only Sherten (short for Sherab Tendzin), who won “Best Male Singer” at the 2009 Tibetan Music Awards because of heartfelt songs like this one  and the now-defunct Rangzen Shonu — “basically the best music band in the history of Tibet”.  (If you invite musicians who love Rangzen Shonu over to your apartment, be ready for a party like this.)

Who is this Dalai Lama Fellow?

Before we dive too deep into Tibet we should know a bit about its central religious and political figure — Tenzin Gvato!!…who we probably know better as the Dalai Lama.

A “Dalai Lama” is the leader of the “Gelug” school of Tibetan Buddhism. Each Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama. Tenzin Gyato is the 14th; there may or may not be a 15th. Since going into exile from Tibet in 1959 when he was just a teenager, Tenzin Gyatohas become an international celebrity and the highest of all high-profile supporters of Tibetan autonomy. Do Tibetans love him? A lot do.