Alastair Moock is a 2013 GRAMMY Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner and, most recently, the recipient of the 2015 Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award from the ASCAP Foundation. Twenty years into his performing career, he has managed to carve out a unique niche for himself: He is a songwriter committed to celebrating the roots of American music while knocking down the walls between different audiences, genres and musical traditions. His audiences range from adults to preschoolers, and he plays everything from nightclubs to theaters to schoolrooms. Like his boyhood hero, Woody Guthrie, Moock believes in the power of music to reach all people — young and old, far and wide, for all occasions.
Music and Social Change
Alastair Moock introduces students to the music that shaped and connected three of America’s most important movements for social change: the Labor Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Anti-War Movement of the 1960′s and 1970′s. Through Alastair’s narrative storytelling and musical talents, students learn about the impact of music and the arts during these critical time periods and make connections between American history and the world we live in today. Students will walk away with a greater understanding of this country and its culture.
Target Grades: 4-12
Audience Limit: 250
Duration: 45-55 minutes
Language of Song
Charismatic singer/songwriter Alastair Moock brings his guitar and his passion for American folk music to teach students language arts skills in this lively, interactive workshop. Working with upbeat songs from the likes of Woody Guthrie and Mississippi John Hurt, as well as gems from Alastair’s own catalog, students learn to identify key concepts such as: subject, mood, setting, point of view, rhyme and alliteration. After some singing and discussion, kids put what they’ve learned to work by helping to craft new verses for one of Alastair’s original songs. Students will leave feeling empowered to work with words and inspired to express themselves through their writing.
Target Grades: 3-5
Audience Limit: 225
Duration: 45-55 minutes
Post-Performance Workshop – Songwriting
Alastair teaches students effective writing techniques and literacy skills through fun, small-group songwriting games that challenge students to build on the lyrics of classic American songs.
Target Grades: 3-12
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Participants: 25 students (one class)
Playing with Tradition: Voices of American Folk
American folk music, like all folk music, is rooted in tradition. But the form is constantly evolving, with songwriters reworking older songs to tell new stories. In this lively, upbeat performance full of participatory singing and dancing, award-winning songwriter Alastair Moock introduces young students to a diverse group of American musicians who have used folk music to teach lessons, chronicle history, inspire courage, champion causes, celebrate victories and simply make people happy. Students will meet Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt, Pete Seeger, and other heroes of American folk, and learn how Dr. King and others used the American song tradition to help inspire change during the Civil Rights movement. Alastair also sings some of his own playful compositions, to show how a contemporary folk singer incorporates the folk tradition into his life and work.
Target Grades: Pre-K – 3
Audience Limit: 225
Duration: 45-50 minutes
Build a School Song (Residency)
Every school needs its own song, or so Alastair Moock believes. Writing an original song from scratch is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn important language arts skills while also engaging in a powerful community-building exercise. Over the course of several sessions, Alastair works with an entire grade to brainstorm ideas, write, and perform a song that reflects unique qualities of the school and student body. At the end of the residency, students will have a finished and recorded song, a new appreciation for writing, and an experience they will never forget.
- Planning session with teachers/facilitators
- Opening performance
- Songwriting workshops (minimum of 3 meetings per class)
- Recording session (optional)
- Student performance of finished song
Sample School Songs:
Glover School Song
Target Grades: 3-6
Audience Limit (for opening performance): 300
Participants/workshop: 30 students (or 1 class)
Duration (performance and workshops): 45-55 minutes
Music & Social Change, Language of Song & Playing with Tradition (performances/day):
Single: $629 Double: $999 Triple: $1319 Quad: $1559
Travel Fee: based upon mileage (use map below)
Note: pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time
Post-performance Songwriting Workshops:
Build a School Song:
Opening Performance: $629
Workshops, recording session, student performance: $150/session
One-Time Residency Planning Fee: $125
Daily Travel Fee: based upon mileage (use map below)
Alastair Moock Performance Requirements
Cunniff School Song Performance – From Build A School Song Residency
“It Takes All Kinds” (Music Video)
“Born to Dance” (performance)
“Inside A Book” (Music Video)
“When I Get Bald” (Music Video) from “Singing Our Way Through”
“I Am Malala” (Music Video)
Moock started performing in 1995, moving from his home outside New York City to the folk haven of Boston, Massachusetts. After working his way up through the local coffeehouse and club circuit, he began touring the U.S. and Europe, eventually graduating to renowned events like the Newport Folk Festival and Norway’s Bergen Music Fest.
In 2007 Moock was nominated for a Boston Music Award for Outstanding Singer-Songwriter of the Year. The Boston Globe called him “one of the town’s best and most adventurous songwriters” and The Washington Post declared “every song a gem.”Over the years, Moock had occasionally performed for kids on the side, but it wasn’t until his twin daughters were born in 2006 that he was inspired to make his first foray into family music. In 2010, he joined the roster of Young Audiences of Massachusetts to bring his program “Music and Social Change” to schools throughout the state. That same year, he released his first family music album, A Cow Says Moock. Both that album and the next, These Are My Friends, were met with critical acclaim.
But it was Moock’s third family album, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids, that became nearest and dearest to his heart. In 2012, one of Alastair’s daughters was diagnosed with leukemia (she’s doing great today). The Singing Our Way Through project began when they started writing songs together in the hospital.Over the next several months, Moock continued to write and collect songs that reflected his family’s experiences, and the end result was an album for kids “with (and without) cancer.” It was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Katie’s Take” with Katie Couric and Good Morning America, and received gold medals from Parents’ Choice and The National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) as well as a 2013 Grammy Nomination for Best Children’s Album. With the help of a fantastic fundraising campaign, over 3,500 copies of the album have so far been distributed to families through hospitals and cancer organizations around the country.
In June 2015, Moock once again proved his unique ability to write material for families that’s both meaningful and fun. His new release, All Kinds of You and Me, reflects on gender, ethnicity, and identity today, as well as the evolving concept of family in America. Featuring folk and kindie stars Rani Arbo, Jennifer Kimball (The Story), Samirah Evans, Debbie Lan, Mark Erelli, and producer Anand Nayak, the album again won gold medals from both Parents’ Choice and NAPPA and was voted the #2 Album of the Year by the Fids & Kamily Industry Critics’ Poll. Parents’ Choice called it “everything children’s music can and should be.”
I teach history to middle schoolers and have for over 35 years. Alastair presented possibly the best multimedia program (spoken word, pictures, singing, and FINE guitar playing) that I have ever seen in an assembly. He had the students singing and clapping with him at the end. A superb performance, and great teaching, too! – Bill Rogers, Middle School History Teacher, Buckingham Browne & Nichols (Cambridge, MA)
We hired Alastair to perform an assembly for kids at the Haggerty School. His spirit and dedication to his music were so compelling that students couldn’t help but be drawn in…He is a master at engaging kids.”– Betsy Siggins, Director, New England Folk Music Archives
Our seventh and eighth graders were captivated by Mr. Moock’s warm presence, cool singing style, and great guitar playing. Students and teachers were buzzing about his program for the rest of the day! – Laurie Katz, Theater Teacher, Weston Middle School (Weston, MA)
The kids are still talking about Alastair’s amazing presentation on Tuesday. I know that this was one of those times that our students will take with them for the rest of their lives.” – Brian Gellerstein, Music Teacher, Tobin Elementary School (Cambridge, MA)
Alastair! We can’t thank you enough for the fantastic work you did with our students. You did an unbelievable job from start to finish! They all learned so much and have their very own song to take away from the whole experience. I’m so proud of all of the kids for pulling it all together today. What a fun performance! Thank you thank you thank you!!!” – Randi Goodwin, PTO member, Glover Elementary School (Marblehead, MA)
“Here’s the thing about Alastair: He is really genuine, and it comes across. He cares about this music and kids, and he conveys his passion for it in an accessible and enjoyable way.” – Shelley Sommers, Library Director, Inly School (Scituate, MA)
“Alastair’s time with our students was extremely productive. He comes well-planned and his inclusion of literacy components brings this experience to a whole new level.”– Mena Ciarlone, Principal, Cunniff Elementary School (Watertown, MA)
“Alastair did a really great job today. He was educational, age appropriate, sensitive to social nuance, inspirational, and really enjoyable. We have had lots of positive feedback from the performance.” -Frances Wilmerding, PTO member, Fessenden School (Newton, MA)
CALCULATE MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL
(double the mileage below to account for the trip and the return trip)