My name is Dr. Christopher Kaufman. I am an educator and creative artist. I earned my doctorate degree in music composition and pedagogy years ago and have specialized in the teaching of young people since that time. I have had experience in many pedagogic philosophies and express a method where Waldorf, Suzuki, and traditional methods combine, with my own emphasis on creativity.
I have maintained an active career as a creative artist, a composer of music for the classical concert stage and film, and a concert presenter. When my daughter, Sofia Rose, arrived, my life was transformed and a new project, THE MUSICAL FOREST, emerged. In this multi-media work, my creative life connects fully with my work as an educator.
THE MUSICAL FOREST teaches music fundamentals, gives the benefits of music education, and expresses my pedagogic philosophy within the auspices of a highly imaginative story context, replete with colorful characters, beautiful illustrative art, and an audio album bursting with symphonic music, voice acting, narration and sound design. THE MUSICAL FOREST is also a moving story about the transformative power of imagination and friendship.
THE MUSICAL FOREST TEACHING SYSTEM: for parents and teachers
THE MUSICAL FOREST TEACHING SYSTEM includes the Book, Audio Album and teaching videos. If you join, I will provide a URL to the ‘teaching page’, where you will have access to teaching plans and suggestions. I offer free email consultations to help you along your way. There is a new blog area where you may communicate with other parents and teachers. You’ll be a part of an ongoing program which includes advice for next steps in music education, listening lists and other benefits I am happy to share from my years teaching in many contexts throughout the years.
HOW IT WORKS
THE MUSICAL FOREST is in five parts. The main character, Squiggle T. Buglet, adventures through the musical forest. She learns music words and experiences music adventure games with her teacher friends from whom she earns ‘seed pods’ for music fundamentals (rhythm, ear training, melody, harmony and the families of instruments), all with the goal of reaching the Mysterious Cave of Doctor Soundartus to play music on his magic music wall. Along the way she meets up with ‘Little Troll’, for whom she has to answer tests and riddles to get across the bridge. Later, they make friends and travel together to The Mysterious Cave of Doctor Soundartus.
You read and listen to an episode at a time, then play the teaching video. On the videos, the characters from the story return and bring to life the adventure game Squiggle just experienced. They lead fun quizzes, such as identifying the music which goes with each character. Then you may expand via the suggestions on the teaching page and share your own experiences on the blog if you wish.
The work of Doctor Kaufman, and others of his ilk, is the result of hundreds of years of experimentation into the development of the complete human intelligence via the artist model. THE MUSICAL FOREST is an effective and highly entertaining example of these methods.
Many benefits come with merely hearing the audio album, which can be quite useful on long car trips! You want your young people to experience the material in a variety of ways. All at once as suggested above; reading only, listening only - as per your life rhythm.
Emmy award winning composer, Joe Carroll, worked with Jim Henson for many years on projects such as Sesame Street
This project has expanded into the realm of live performance. Doctor Kaufman has developed a new version of The Musical Forest for live orchestra which he performs with his daughter, Sofia. They also perform episodes as entertaining author’s readings, and in the context of Kaufman’s concert series, The Phantastic Theater - new music and art for family audiences. In these performances, Sofia performs the lead role of Squiggle T. Buglet (you will hear her voice on the audio album), as Doctor Kaufman narrates and voice acts with puppets he created for these occasions. Illustrative art from the book streams on screen as music pours over the speakers.