Music Videos and Interview with Kindie Musician Emily Arrow!

August 1, 2017


What a summer it’s been!

Fall books are on sale (hooray!) and we’ve been working behind the scenes with one of our favorite people to bring you something extra special this season. Singer-songwriter Emily Arrow collaborated with us to create the music for two series this fall, Library Skills and Sing and Draw! And now, we’ve turned a song from each series into an Emily Arrow music video! Squee!



If you aren’t familiar with Emily Arrow yet, you need to be! With a background in music and education, she is now a rising star on the kindie rock scene. Kids love her music, of which she is most noted for her own genre she’s dubbed as “kid lit tunes,” in which she creates magical songs inspired by favorite children’s book titles. We’re beyond thrilled she agreed to work with us.


Check out her video for Find a Book right here:



And here’s the Alphabet Safari video:



Between projects, we took a few minutes to reflect with Emily on the importance of music, libraries, and the creative process. Enjoy:


Cantata Learning: Okay, so to start off, obviously we’re incredibly excited about collaborating with you on eight awesome Cantata Learning books, which are now, thanks to you, extra super awesome. However, the Library Skills and Sing & Draw series titles are a bit of a departure from the sort of titles you usually create songs for. Can you tell us a little bit about how that impacted your creative process?
Emily Arrow: Because of Cantata Learning’s unique format, every book already IS a song!! This project is so special to me because instead of writing lyrics and music about a fiction picture book, I got to create the music for lyrics that were already in song form! It was such a fresh way to approach the songwriting process and reminds me of how many composers of musical theater create their work as separate composers and lyricists.
CL: And what about what drew you to the project in the first place? Can you give our readers some insight into what it is that you appreciate about Cantata Learning?
EA: Cantata Learning shares my values of integrating music and literacy in the learning process. Their books help readers engage with the words in a way that sticks because all of the words are lyrics! I know music has power. I know books have power. And both Cantata Learning and I know that combining music and books is one of the most powerful tools we can use in education.
CL: We love that your background is not only in music but in education. Which means that you truly get what motivates students AND you understand the tools teachers need to get the job done. How does your experience as a teacher influence your current path as a singer/songwriter and performer?
EA: My experience as a teacher taught me to question what works in the classroom as well as what doesn’t. I learned to explore: exploring how to perform a song with 300 kids; why a 5th grader loved a song that a 2nd grader didn’t; which instruments I enjoyed teaching… and which books resonated with my students. Very often, being a teacher is as much a learning process as being a student. This exploratory approach to education has been the same one that guides me along my journey as a songwriter and performer.


CL: And, just for fun, what was your favorite thing about visiting the library as a kid? What do you think is the biggest difference in the libraries you see today compared to when you were a child?
EA: When I was a kid, I could ride my bike to the library beginning the summer of 5th grade. My favorite thing about visiting the library was bringing a friend along and comparing what we had and hadn’t read. We’d spend hours saying, “Have you read this?” and if we hadn’t, the book was promptly added to our pile. What I see in libraries today is the dream of my childhood: music, conversations, creativity, and an open space to make noise and build friendships.
–> Many thanks to Emily Arrow for her time and talent!
We hope everyone enjoys sharing these special videos with your students this year!