Archive for

Kids Songs – Partnering With Charities Leveraging Educational Media

Educational media opens the doors for several types of partnerships. As a group, it is important to think about your objectives to determine what the right types of partners are and how to have those partnerships come to life.

The easiest place to partner for a musical group is of course through shows. When scheduling shows, it is important to think about what you are getting out of the performance, ala revenue, exposure, good will, practice time for bigger shows. Revenue can show up in actual contract dollars or in free advertising that the host may do for you. Exposure is a great one to think about – because different audiences may spread word-of-mouth in very different circles. So if you do an outdoor event related to sports vs. an indoor school event, the people listening could overlap in your target audience or complement each other really well. Practice time, let’s face it – practice makes perfect. Most times you do a show for lots of reasons and practice/rehearsal for shows is a great way to try out new material and see how the audience reacts. It is relatively safe and helps you work out kinks.

Playing for charity and good will is a great thing to do. There are lots of benefits for both the group and the charity. Hitting back on audience and cross marketing – it is likely that the charity members are a different audience that one typically plays for at a show. So exposure is great – the group will also bring a new membership base to the charity, so it creates a potential group that may donate hours, money or skills to the charity once you market the partnership. It is also great for morale and it is good to show that you as a group care and give back. Sometimes this may mean you play for less revenue, which again can show up in others ways as far as value (ala marketing by the charity, new audience, etc.).

In closing, it is critical to have a partnership strategy on paper and to have thought through it before diving in and going after just anyone. Partners can make the journey a lot easier or frankly tougher depending on how easy they are to work with and how helpful they are in supporting your vision as a group too.

Celebrity Wedding $16M – Rolls Royce Phantom $246K – Video Biography, Priceless!

A video biography is a lot more than just videography; it is a personal documentary filled with interviews, photographs, narration, archival footage, home videos, and music that is produced and edited into artistic, television-quality documentaries. Think of your family scrapbook on steroids. It comes to life, it speaks, it sings, and it tells stories to you and to generations to come. It’s an awesome way to preserve and share memories. It’s one of those, “Just Gotta Have It,” kind of gifts, for which you will never experience a moment of regret.

In life we can expect some big-ticket items: college education, wedding, purchasing a house, buying a luxury car or boat, getting that much-needed facelift. These big-ticket items cause U.S. consumers to ask themselves, “Can I afford this?” Some folks are lucky enough to have disposable income for these kinds of purchases; some can only dream; while others, even in this lousy U.S. economy, embrace the notion that some items – even though considered “luxury” – are worth every penny… especially if they impact our lives in a positive way.

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, wouldn’t an entire video biography/documentary be worth at least several thousand dollars? Are your family memories worth as much, or more, than a sub-compact car? If the answer is “yes,” then you are the perfect candidate for a video biography.

Think about it this way. Education is of paramount importance, but you have a choice: state-subsidized or private university.

Weddings are matters of the heart, so standing before the Justice of the Peace is just as legal and binding (not to mention cheaper) as a $16 million extravaganza.

I suppose a 1,300 square-foot house is big enough for a family of four, but 6,000 square feet is even nicer, especially when you have more bathrooms than bedrooms, as well as heated Pietra Firma LuxTouch tile on the outside balcony to ensure your comfort on cool evenings.

When it comes to economy and ecology, we owe it to this planet to buy sub-compact hybrid cars with great gas mileage, but oh… the feel of that Rolls Royce car seat with its 400 pieces of German Bavarian bull leather on your skin is just too glorious.

Speaking of cars and skin – my face needs more than a nip-’n'-tuck, it requires a complete overhaul. Do I choose the cheapest plastic surgeon, or the guy who did Raquel Welch’s work? I’m going with the latter.

So, this brings us to the question: “Can money make us happy?” Maybe not entirely, but it can make the journey to find happiness a lot more comfortable and interesting. And once more it can finance extraordinary memories. I’m not talking about scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef or skydiving into the Haleakala Crater in Maui; I am talking about capturing a lifetime of memories and sharing them with family and friends.

Video Biographies

“What the heck is a video biography?” you ask. I can assure you, it’s not just videography. A video biography is a personal documentary filled with interviews, photographs, narration, archival footage, home videos, and music that is produced and edited into artistic, television-quality documentaries. Think of your family scrapbook on steroids. It comes to life, it speaks, it sings, and it tells stories to you and to generations to come. It’s an awesome and practical way to preserve and share memories.

Gone are the black lick-’em-and-stick-’em photo corners, plastic hold-your-photos-in-place film, and the tower of archival photo boxes marked by years. What can I say? Things change. Just think about what we did before zip-lock plastic bags – we used waxed paper! With the incredibly strict air travel rules today, can you imagine having to wrap your allowed items in waxed paper to take onboard with you? Crazy, yes? Well, in a way, so is keeping your prized memorabilia stuck between sheets of paper, crammed in shoeboxes, locked in the safe deposit box, or left to self-destruct on cassette tape (audio & visual).

Enter the world of professional video biographies, also known as:

  • Celebration videos
  • Corporate videos
  • Family history chronicles
  • Funeral and memorial tribute videos
  • Genealogy videos
  • Legacy videos
  • Living tribute videos
  • Personal and family history documentaries

Whatever you want to call it, it’s the here-and-now wave of technology that will let your memories ride to the next millennium.

Some of you artistic types who are adept with multi-media gizmos and video/audio technology may tackle the project yourself, but for the other 98% of us, we will more than likely choose a professional company that offers the expertise and the equipment to render our family memorabilia into an A&E-quality documentary. There are several companies that provide video biography services – some are more comprehensive than others, a few offer higher-end technologically, some are more artistic, some cheaper while others are more expensive. Here are just a few to whet your whistle:

DAC Video Productions. Based in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, DAC serves clients nationally, offering video biographies and photo montages. It also provides transfer and conversion services.

Family Legacy Video. Arizona-based Family Legacy Video offers custom-crafted legacy videos, audio CDs, and photo books. It also offers guides and webinars with video biography tips and tricks, as well as royalty-free music.

Legacy Multimedia. This Houston, Texas, company covers the gamut of services, as well as offers a blog post.

Reel Tributes is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and produces what it calls “Documentaries of a Lifetime.” It offers full, high-end service, including initial consultation, planning, production, and editing. A single producer is responsible for each project.

Save Their Story is located in San Diego, California, and offers basic to extended interviews. Interviewers are located throughout the U.S.

Your Story Here handles projects mostly in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, but is extending locations in the U.S. The company specializes in video biographies, veterans and genealogy videos, and ethical wills (aka spiritual or legacy letters). It also works with Alzheimer’s patients to coax memories by using “reminiscence therapy.”

Whatever your budget is; whatever your celebration, tribute, or memorial may be… a video biography is one of those “Just-Gotta-Have-It” kind of treats we allow ourselves in our lifetime and never have a moment of regret. It’s not just for today, it’s for generations to come.

Educational Uses For Video Blogging

Over the past ten years, the technological advances made that benefit education are astonishing. Teachers do not have to just depend on lectures and textbooks to convey the subject matter anymore. Internet search engines, computer programs such as PowerPoint presentations, online study guides formulated by teachers and students and discussion boards are commonly used by today’s teachers in their classroom. One teaching tool that is now being embraced by many educators and students is video blogging.

Video blogging, or vlogging as it is sometimes referred to, began during the early part of this decade. The forerunner for this form of blogging, YouTube, was founded during February of that year and officially launched during the fall 2005. The popular search engine, Yahoo!, also has its version of vlogging called Yahoo! Video. With each of these brands, users can upload their own videos, watch other user’s videos and share them with each other. These videos can include television clips, music videos or home movies. In order to view these videos properly, a high speed internet connection would be required. Otherwise, the time for a video to upload will be lengthy.

In doing research on each of these web sites, I found that teachers from all grade levels and even college professors are using this method to teach certain aspects of their course content. I found videos online designed to teach kindergarten students the letters of the alphabets. There are videos that cover different aspects of science, such as space, the structure of atoms and gene splicing. I found several videos pertaining to my career, agriculture education and FFA. Several FFA chapters and/or agriculture instructors have posted videos to YouTube promoting the various activities that they take part in. This is a great way to gather ideas for your own chapter to use. The FFA Creed is a very popular topic on these vlogging web sites. There are several renditions of the FFA Creed presented by FFA members from all across the country. This could be one way to show a freshman the proper way to speak, stand and present the Creed when preparing for that career development event.

I was lucky enough to find six videos that someone had posted on YouTube that dealt with 4-H poultry judging. Each video depicted a specific class that members would be responsible for judging in an actual contest and detailing what they need to look for in order to succeed. I created my own account ( and created a favorites folder. I added each video to my favorites and have asked that each of the members of my poultry team view these videos before we participate in the various poultry contests that take place each year. These poultry judging training videos are being used as supplemental material for them to use when completing tasks that need to be finished before our next scheduled practice.

While I find this teaching tool fascinating and very beneficial, there are some important drawbacks that I feel need to be addressed. First, and most important, is the amount of inappropriate content that are present on these sites. Before setting up an account, your age must be verified to ensure that you are old enough to start an account, but that can easily be worked around if the intending user gives a false date of birth. By setting up my own account and posting the videos that I wanted my team members to see to a favorites page, I strived to prevent them from searching for topics that might lead them to finding some of this inappropriate material that I spoke of earlier. High school students are very smart when it comes to technology, so they know ways to get around things like this. At least I feel good about what I did, though. My second problem with using this form of technology in my classroom is that YouTube and Yahoo! Video are blocked by our school system and cannot be accessed on any computer. A factor that I have to take into serious consideration is that at least 50% of my students do not have a computer at home. So, I cannot require my students to log onto the internet at home to view something and expect everyone to be able to participate.

With new technological ideas becoming reality on a daily basis, I am waiting for someone to take the initiative to create a web site just for educators to post and share videos. Many teachers will admit that there days do not always start at eight and end at 3:30. And, with more and more requirements being handed down from the State Departments of Education, the time to prepare lesson plans and teach our competencies is being drastically reduced with each passing year. It would be very beneficial to this profession to have another outlet for teaching our material and I think video blogging is the way to go.