Tales of a 4th Grade Cut-Up

Kids Creating Music

This is the story of how 12 fourth-graders with a smart, creative teacher wrote and recorded a catchy pop anthem about danger, pandas, Olaf the snowman, and electrical engineers…all in less than an hour.

rough mix Dangerous PandaLast April my daughter’s 4th Grade teacher, Miss Armstrong, invited me to teach a songwriting workshop to her class at St. George’s Episcopal School in New Orleans.

We explored Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of Flow and how making music and art gets us into the flow state. I introduced the students to the idea of cut-ups – a technique used by the Dadaists, Beats, and more recently by David Bowie and by Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

And we embraced limitations as a creative virtue. The limits we worked under included:

  1. We will write and record a song in one class period.
  2. Lyrics should relate to one of the four student-voted themes.
  3. Everyone who volunteers to sing gets included in the song.
  4. Create a rough mix the students could listen to by the end of the school day.
  5. Use only the sounds recorded and played in the classroom to produce the final version of the song.

Dangerous Panda!

As mentioned in the podcast, we did go off the reservation a bit regarding the chosen themes. I asked for ideas and my daughter wrote a list of about 10 potential themes on the chalkboard. The class then voted for four of them: danger, pandas, Miss Armstrong, and Olaf. As you’ll hear, several other themes found their way into the song.

4th Grade songwriters

The creative minds and voices behind Dangerous Panda.

But hey – the beauty of a creative philosophy doesn’t lie in how rigorously you can adhere to it. The beauty of embracing limits is that it forces you to focus so you can get things done. And then you can share your creative genius with the world!

Listen to the podcast:

Money, Slavery, Freedom & the Future

Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

Soul Mantra 17In this week’s podcast, DK explores insights from the Venus retrograde: how we’re trained to apologize for being who we are and why we should all get together and stop it.

“I know I am august,
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood,
I see that the elementary laws never apologize,
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all.)

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.”

— Walt Whitman, Song of Myself


Everything Is Perfectly Fine In This Moment

Wind from the East: 2017 astrology podcast

Abandon Ignorance card - Kate*Star tarot

From Kate*Star’s custom tarot deck.

In the new podcast, we unveil the degree symbol for the 2017 astrological year. The astrology of Aries and the Emperor – healing the wound of the sacred masculine.

Plus: music that’ll help you get back to here and now, was I levitating? — and why it’s a great time to honor the ancestors.

If you enjoy the podcast, please share it with your tribe. Thank you!

New Redeemer / Tribe of Dreamers

Naked Songwriter Podcast: Aries New Moon, False Flag AlerT, UnFreeze!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/The Matrix mind control program is on full blast. The Aries New Moon, Libra Full Moon, false flags and mass hypnosis…

You are the One the world has been waiting for. Time to fight your way out of the Matrix’s wet paper sack and stand for what you want.

Venus Retrograde and the Swamp of Love

American Transcendentalism and Refusing to Conform

In this week’s podcast, DK recounts his encounter with the man who told him about love that was a swamp so deep he couldn’t climb out. Plus Ralph Waldo Emerson on the Last Judgment and trusting our own inner genius. And how the ongoing Venus Retrograde is challenging us to speak up and stand tall in the face of opposition from the mind-controlled zombies in our lives.

Don’t Miss it!

I’ll be exploring these themes and more on Sunday and Monday. If you can’t make the live calls, sign up so you can get the recording:

Sunday, March 19 @ 8 pm EDT – Shifting Resonance: Epigenetics, Ancestors & Radical Self-Care with Dr. Diana Quinn

Monday, March 20 @ 7 pm EDT – Astrological new year special on Nourished and Radiant with Nicole Rochat

My special price on the  Venus Rx Soul Reintegration/Personal Coaching package ends Monday. See my Personal Coaching page for details.

Carry That Weight? – Virgo Full Moon Podcast

Virgo Full Moon, Venus Retrograde, Wounded Healers and Ancestral Patterns in the DNA

Virgo Full Moon - March 12, 2017, 10:54 am EDT New York NY.

Virgo Full Moon – March 12, 2017, 10:54 am EDT New York NY.

A Loaded Moment in Time

Why you shouldn’t turn away from whatever is hurting you this week, clearing ancestral and family karma, Pisces threatens to secede from the consensus reality, good vs. bad aliens, and more.

The World Wants You!

I’ll be exploring these themes and how you can clear the weight and jump into your personal renaissance in more detail in the calls I mentioned on the pod – one is free and the other one will cost you 50 cents:

Sunday, March 19 @ 8 pm EDT – Shifting Resonance: Epigenetics, Ancestors & Radical Self-Care with Dr. Diana Quinn

Monday, March 20 @ 7 pm EDT – Nourished and Radiant with Nicole Rochat

I’m also offering a  limited-time-only soul-reintegration/personal coaching package specifically designed to work with the energetics of the Venus retrograde. See my Personal Coaching page for details.

Cosmic Refresh Button: Pisces Solar Eclipse

Blasting Out the Old With Mars, Uranus & Jupiter

Oh, yeah. It’s visionary dark moon astrology. DK breaks down Sunday’s Pisces solar eclipse. How will Neptune conjunct the eclipse Sun and Moon affect us? Why you need to pay attention to the Mars-Uranus conjunction (pictured below) in Aries, and how this dynamic pattern is trying to move us to where we really want to be. Along with riffage on New Orleans (Happy Mardi Gras, y’all), recovery, psychic littering and probably some other stuff he’s forgotten about…

Pisces solar eclipse, Feb. 25, 2017 9:58 am EST USA.

Why You Matter

Naked Songwriter Episode 5: Whose Story Are You Living in?

supergirlIn this 30-minute podcast, DK argues that your individual vision is important to the world. Why?

It’s not because you’re unique, like a snowflake. It’s because following your heart – finding the courage to express your vision and live your dream – is a profound act of creation that changes the narrative of the world.

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”
– William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Continue reading

Self-Forgiveness – Imagination in Action

Naked Songwriter Episode 3: Celebrating the Solstice with the revolutionary Prophet of Imagination

naked songwriter podcast episode 3 - imagination in action

Forgiveness: your capacity to create a new life with your mind.

William Blake saw forgiveness as imagination in action.

During a recent “dark night of the soul” experience I received the immense gift of insight into what self-forgiveness means. And what “imagination in action” actually looks like in practice.  Continue reading