Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Martin Swinger: What People Say...

Songwriting in the Classroom: A Vehicle for Learning
(Cross Curricular Song Writing)
80 teachers present, 90 minute workshop @ Thurgood Marshall Elementary 4/29/08.

1) Overall, I would rate the presentation as:
Excellent: 57 Good: 19 Fair: 0 Poor: 0

2) The presenters understanding of the topic was:
Excellent: 67 Good: 13 Fair: 0 Poor: 0

3) The presentation was well organized:
Yes: 69 Somewhat: 6 Not really: 0 No: 0

4) Questions from the audience were answered in useful detail:
Yes: 69 Somewhat: 6 Not really: 0 No: 0

5) As a result of this training, I feel that I am ready to implement the program in my classroom:
Confidently: 39 Skillfully: 29 Adequately: 11 Not able: 0

6) What would you suggest to improve this workshop?
Mr. Swinger becomes our music teacher at Thurgood Marshall.
Have Mr. Swinger back. Longer time.
We wrote a song and didn't get a chance to sing it.

7) What was the most valuable aspect of this training?
Learning the importance of singing and how it can support learning.
How to illustrate the rhyme scheme of a song.
How to write songs that students will remember. Excellent! The singing. Writing out the songs.
Very informative.
Modeling, co-writing with colleagues.
Hands on training. Writing our own song.
Learning to have fun writing songs.
How to go about writing a song.
Different ideas to incorporate into learning.
The extra practice and the examples that were shown.
Making our own song and the practice of doing it.
Mr. Swinger's enthusiasm!!! His enthusiasm.
Sharing songs.
Learning to incorporate songs into lessons daily.
Children can learn any activity through song.
Using higher-order thinking skills, incorporating music, kid friendly.

8) Additional comments?
This is an excellent program. Fun.
It was very entertaining.
The class enjoyed writing the song.
Wonderful examples and activities.
Amazing - thank you for a great inservice -
-- something we can use in class!
Mr. Swinger is a delight and gives a really great workshop.
Excellent and fun. Fun workshop.
Workshop was wonderful!!
Very interesting. Excellent presentation.
Excellent workshop! Great job! Loved it!
Teachers: Thurgood Marshall Elementary - Continuing Education Workshop (Apr 29, 2008)


I could (and will if you like!) write pages about the fabulous residency Martin put together for Brunswick's first grade students. Teachers raved about him and his work throughout the process. He is like a kid magnet, and they respond to him magically. Teachers used phrases like, "This is the best residency I have ever experienced in all my 26 years of teaching." and "These kids are learning things in a week that I've been trying to teach them for months, just by putting words to music!" and "This Martin is a real pro, he is ready for anything the kids throw at him!"

I can unconditionally recommend Martin to teach anything musical to anybody of any age. Personally, I can't stop listening to his CDs. Seeing him in the classroom with the kids doing what he loves and doing it so well, you can see how easily his enthusiasm rubs off on young people. Even the coolest cucumber in the class can't resist his humor and charm and his utter surrender to the fun of making music together. I was laughing right there with all those adorable singing kids as they wrote songs about their studies and made rhymes like "exo-skeleton" and "crustacean".

If we didn't have a policy that requires us to hire different artists each year, Martin would be on our roster for every grade at every school and every semester. Please feel free to call at the number below if you have any questions or if you'd like recommendations from teachers.

All the best, Patty Olds



Patty Olds, Director - Executive Director, Arts Are Elementary

School Program Reviews

...As I told you at the time, the program was thoroughly enjoyed by all the primary staff and students. I personally enjoyed your classroom presentation immensley. You clearly have a gift for working with young children...
Scott Drown, Principal, Leeds Central School:
We really appreciate you - your solid competence and collaborative nature. Anne
Anne Geller, Director, Foothills Arts - Unsolicited Email (Dec 29, 2006)
As the project coordinator I appreciated Martin's promptness each day, his flexibility in molding his process to our requests and schedule, his rapport with both staff and students (he even ate lunch in the cafeteria with the students each day) and the quality of the product with which we were left. His is an especially good offering for small schools in which there's a strong sense of family/community but not a lot of exposure to the arts. Martin's style is warm and folksy. His skills provide both a wonderful introduction to songwriting and a solid foundation upon which to build future music/poetry/rhythm programming.
Mary Ellen Miner, Enrichment Coordinator, Augusta Public Schools:
I was delighted to see how kindergarten students became enthusiastic as they integrate learnings of phonological keys with a class song. The third graders were so pleased when they used their vocabulary words to design their song about weather. I watched my first graders become confident as they brainstormed and then problem solved which words were best for their song.
...this was all because of Martin Swinger's expertise...
Thank you for helping our children build their self-esteem, gain new knowledge and be successful.
Carol Marcotte, Principal, River View Community School:
Dear Martin, I have enjoyed learning your songs. If I were a teacher and I had to grade you it would be an A + ! I love all your songs! From, Janelle
Janelle X, Elementary School Student:
"The kids absolutely loved working with you and your session has come up repeatedly as one of the big highlights of the weekend. I knew that you would be great just because you're such a fun and dynamic performer, but I am still amazed at what a truly snug fit your workshop was for our program."
Joyce Perry, Bereavement Coordinator, Pine Tree Hospice:

Newspaper Reviews

"If there was a Grammy Music Award given for best Artist in Residence the children of Southport Central School would overwhelmingly vote for Martin Swinger. Swinger integrated music into the students' lessons in classes such as Spainish, biology and English and made learning both fun and meaningful as a result. The childrens' enthusiasm for the music and fondness for Swinger was clearly in evidence with thier robust participation and insatiable appetite for more songs."
Daniel Fayen, staff writer, Boothbay Register

CD Reviews

“This is a great CD for entire families to enjoy together. Martin Swinger's rhythms are wonderfully dance-able, and his lyrics are honest and joyful. Kids will love his straightforward delivery, adults will love his ability to transport any listener back to his or her own childhood. Adults be warned: you will be playing this CD for yourself long after the kids have gone to bed!”
Erin Lee Kelly, Member - Children’s Music Network
Coney Island Lullaby is my favorite. This morning I played it for myself, by myself, with my child not in the house even,,,,, kind of like a secret treasure you are.
You brighten our day every day we listen to you, which is often, and usually in the kitchen when we're cooking or eating or dancing with the lights out. We live on 40 acres so no one knows how silly we can be, which sometimes is a wonderful thing~

Mary, Northern Maine - Fan Mail
Dear Martin,

WE LOVE YOUR MUSIC! My four-year-old has been hooked since the first track
of "Mockingbird" and we've all been listening ever since.... Dancing Shoes
and Louisiana Hot Sauce are bopping around favorites in our house and I
could listen to Uncle Hubert all day, despite the fact that it makes me weep
(the happy kind, of course).

With appreciation, Gabrielle
Gabrielle Mason - Unsolicited Fan Mail (Dec 29, 2006)