Hawai‘i Pacific University Chair and Professor of Communication John Hart, Ph.D., has been contracted by the U.S. State Department to produce a new edition of his “Sing Out Loud: American Rhythms” CD. David Fay, Branch Chief, State Department's Office of English Language Program noted; “The CD is one among several of our music or song-based English language learning tools that are reproduced and distributed throughout the world, through our network of 24 Regional English Language Officers in U.S. Embassies' Public Affairs Sections.”
The CD includes songs from nationally known artists such as Daniel Ho, Omar Kent Dykes, Ozomatli and the Hacienda Brothers to local Hawai‘i artists like David “Kawika” Kahiapo and Kelli Heath. The permissions to use the songs is expiring and Hart will be asking the artists to extend permissions for the use of their songs and propose a CD reformatting if necessary.
Why the reissue? “The CD is extremely popular and continues to be in high demand,” said Fay. “State Department-funded English Language Fellows conduct how-to-use workshops, local teachers and teacher trainers incorporate the songs and activities into their classes and workshops.” Fay noted that the CD content was “in the top five” of all downloadable content from the State Department educational website.
The CD was originally issued in 2012 and was the third volume of a three CD series. The earlier CDs were children’s and traditional American folk songs issued in 2009. Fay stated “In response to an overwhelming demand for English, embassies work closely with Ministries of Education, teachers' associations, NGOs, and other partners to help teachers improve their approach to English language instruction.”
The CDs were the keystone project in a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant from the State Department to HPU to develop materials to teach English overseas, with a focus on at-risk adolescents in developing countries. “This particular CD allows teachers to introduce song and music into the classroom, many of which are low-resource and are using something other than a textbook for the first time,” pointed out Fay.