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Sharon Burch Ė Artist Interview
By Brendan Lai-Tong

We recently had the opportunity to interview Sharon Burch, music teacher, clinician and author of the Freddie the Frog series. Read More...

My students LOVE Freddie! He has completely changed the way I teach and my students are learning more than I could ever imaged. Thank you!

- Karen Bussean

I am really enjoying teaching with Freddie for the first time this year with K and 1! The 2nd graders, who have not had Freddie (this being his first year with me) saw me finishing up a 1st grade class with him and they were so excited! I told them I didn't typically bring Freddie to their class because I didn't think they liked puppets. Boy, was I wrong they said! He spent the class with us, as I had actually planned, and we built upon their rhythm reading and building skills as well as their prior SLM singing and practicing by playing We Are Playing in the Forest with accompanying stick activity. Loved it!

Eileen Freedman, MT-BC
Director of Music
Community Day School
Pittsburgh, PA


"My 5th & 4th graders are loving the stories. I even heard one of my 4th grade girls say, "Hey, look at Freddie!" (I was moving his mouth along with the story and she noticed and kept watching him.) It never ceases to amaze me how THE POWER OF THE PUPPET draws those students in.

I even had a student that came from another school district that said, ‘Oh! This is my FAVORITE of all the stories,’ when I introduced the new book.

He's so fun. Even the classroom teachers say, ‘Oh, there's Freddie!’ LOL! He's a rock star in my school!

Thank you for making a truly great product that WORKS!"

Beth Ann DeLapp
Music Teacher
Minnie Cline Elementary
Savannah School District


"Freddie has really become a part of my classroom. My students are learning about their notes without realizing they're learning."

Kimberly Clemensen
New York


ONE THE BEST TEACHING TOOLS I HAVE EVER USED. It was amazing the growth and learning that the kids had with these books and materials. And that moment that a kid (let's say a 2nd grader) looks at another piece of music, and runs up to you to tell you that this note is an "E" because that's where Eli's house is...well, that's just priceless. Also, the games are fun to play as a competition, too. I had a 3rd grader play the match game about the 1st book and complete it in less than 8 seconds. SO AMAZING!!!!

Sam Crust
Posted at the Teaching with Freddie the Frog® Facebook page.

Hi Sharon,

Here's a video snippet of our most recent rendition of your musical "Freddy the Frog and the Mighty Meter Gnome."

http://safeshare.tv/w/oTygibCRJR

It was a huge success with over 450 family members out for the night program. There was 160 Kindy and First-graders singing the songs (with motions) and eight fifth-grade cast members speaking the parts of the play.

We also had specials; first grade can-can dancers... first-grade blue beetle bug blues singers (complete with blues brothers sunglasses and plastic microphones) and first-grade chanting army ants.

It was a lot of fun, and I feel confident that when we review the musical concepts next year the students will have a much deeper appreciation and recognition.

Thank you Sharon, for all your resources. Freddie is alive and well at Scouters Mountain Elementary for many years to come. Have a wonderful end of your school year!


Sincerely,
Katherine Carter
Music Teacher
Scouters Mountain Elementary
Happy Valley, Oregon


Scat Singing for Kids lesson rocks!

"Yesterday I had my observation and I did the Scat Singing for Kids lesson with 3rd graders.† The feedback I got was great!

††††‘I have observed teachers for many, many years and Iíve never seen a lesson on scat before.† That was just fantastic.’

...I wanted you to know that lesson rocks!!† (Only negative thing was when a 2nd grader told me scat singing was singing about poop!)"†

Ruth Filchak, South Carolina

Dear Ms. Burch,

I can't tell you how exciting it is to have incorporated Freddie into my K-4 general music classroom. My students absolutely love Freddie! Your materials have provided me a much better understanding of ways to effectively teach. I went from dreading kindergarten classes to looking forward to them, and it's because of your resources (I love telling them Freddie's worried they'll forget his story, knowing they'll protest). My students can read and play with much more complexity than I gave them credit for. Their excitement is obvious when I reveal that we're going to start another Freddie book - what an awesome way to be able to introduce a concept!

Thank you for your work!

Amy Regier
South Breeze Elementary Music
1020 Old Main
Newton KS 67114


My K-3 elementary schools were very fortunate to receive a visit from Freddie (and Sharon) this fall to the delight of the students and teachers alike. Sharon is a masterful presenter who has great control of the audience and a gift for capturing their imaginations as well as their attention from the first moment. This was a great introduction to our use of Freddie the Frog in what I believe will become an essential element in our curriculum.

Loretta Beam
Music Teacher
Battleground Elementary School,
Love Memorial Elementary School,
S. Ray Lowder Elementary School
Lincolnton, NC


"I just did the first Freddie lesson with my 1st graders last week and they are asking and asking if Freddie is "hiding" in my room. For the first few lessons I hide him somewhere as an incentive for them to come in quietly so they don't "scare" him. It's pretty funny!! I hide him in all kinds of crazy places and sometimes pretend I can't find him...I LOVE MY JOB!!! ;O) Freddie is the only puppet I use in my teaching because I didn't always feel comfortable "acting" with puppets. I never felt I had the gift for it but because I'm the only one who can "hear" Freddie, it's so easy!"

Mrs. Michelle Taylor
Music Educator, Grades 1-6
Conestoga and Eshleman Elementary Schools
Penn Manor School District


Hello Sharon!

My name is Michelle Taylor and I am an elementary music teacher at Penn Manor School District in Millersville, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all of your hard work in developing the Freddie the Frog series. I have used all of your stories now for 3 or 4 years and I recommend them to every music teacher I know. I think they are just wonderful!

Read Full Testimony


Mrs. Michelle Taylor
Music Educator, Grades 1-6
Conestoga and Eshleman Elementary Schools
Penn Manor School District


I am a first year teacher and I absolutely LOVE all of the Freddie books and the app!! My kids adore Freddie and are always very pumped when he comes to class!! They are learning all of the note names of both clefs fast and easy--even my Kindergartners can name the notes of the Treble and Bass clefs!! I am amazed at how well Freddie captures and keeps the attention of my K-2nd graders and would be thrilled to be able to unlock the rest of the app!!

Thanks so much for bringing Freddie to the world,
Katherine Richards


Thank you for all your products. My music classroom has really come alive in imagination with your stories and I have seen great success in learning the note reading with my students. I am a fan!!!

My Kindy's just were introduced today to Freddie and Eli in the first adventure and they were riveted. Thanks again!


Sincerely,
Katherine Carter
Scouter's Mountain Elementary
Music Teacher K-5


I wish you could have seen the 2nd graders when they listened to the Freddie story today. The gasps when he landed in the alligator's mouth were priceless. Thank you so much for this wonderful tool! It has changed everything about the way I teach!

Lauren Shaughnessy
General and Vocal Music
Appleby School
Spotswood New Jersey

"I used Freddie with my kinders the other day. I received several emails from parents asking me about my puppet friend and his favorite song. Your hello Freddie song. He was a huge hit as always. Thanks Sharon!"

Laura Pope Olsen

Sharon,

I have been using your Freddie the Frog books in my classroom for the past 2 years and my students love them! I was excited to see that you have been developing the games. We are moving into a new, larger classroom and are getting a promethean board, which they can play the games on in connection to the lessons.

Thank you for you and your staff. It is so difficult to find usable music resources on the internet, especially the interactive ones. Freddie the Frog has become a name that is extremely familiar in my babies' vocabulary.

Kelley Allen,
Merryville HS & Singer HS,
Pre-K to 5 Music

I have been using Freddie for an entire year now and my second graders love him! I have all your books (including the new one) and your Beyond the Books. I discovered the Freddie the Frog and the Meter Gnome and used it for my second grade musical. I am already reflecting how I will use these products more effectively next year. I saw your coming out with a Freddie app for the ipad-I can't wait.

Thanks again for all you do. Please keep writing and expanding Freddie's adventures to cover other music elements. It is such a fun way to teach and the kids love learning from Freddie.

-- Mark D. Adams, Music Specialist, Endeavour Intermediate, Washington

Sharon,

I saw you speak at the North Carolina Music Educators Conference this past November in Winston Salem. This is my second year teaching. Last year I found Thump in the Night in the stuff that was left behind by the previous teacher. I used it a few times, but I never expanded on it because I wasnít really sure what to do! Hearing you speak at the conference totally changed my view on the book. I purchased all the books, the puppet, and Beyond the Books. This series has made me a better teacher! I love that it gives me something to guide me, but still leaves me the time to explore the hundred other ideas I have. It has helped me with my professional development goal for the year, which was all about assessment. It is such a wonderful tool and Iíve used it in everything I do with my kids. Iíve even made a bulletin board dedicated to Treble Clef Island that has all the music basics on it. The kids love to hear what Freddie has to say and look forward to seeing him each week, and I look forward to having more adventures with him next year. Thank you so much for creating and sharing such a wonderful teaching tool! Every elementary teacher needs to be introduced to this magical friend.

Best wishes,
Tamara Sanyshyn
K-2 Music
Franklin Academy

My students and I have fallen in love with the Freddie the Frog books and I want to express my gratitude for such an amazing resource! I teach PK-8th grade general music and, while I have been focusing on using Freddie with K-2, he has even sparked the interest of the older students. I find it hilarious that one of my 7th grade boys asked if we could read a Freddie book yesterday. Thank you!

Danielle Horan
Music Teacher
Folsom Elementary School
Hammonton, NJ


Your books are pure genius. I would have never thought they would work, but they're really good at the treble clef notes (the 6 you use in the book), and we're going to reinforce the bass clef notes. Very excited about your school visit!

--Randy Raab, East Hanover, New Jersey, U.S.

Dear Ms. Burch,

I want to thank you for your Freddie the Frog series. I attended a session at the NYSSMA conference about two week ago and was hooked. I have just started using Freddie with my PreK and Kindergarten classes, and they love him dearly. In fact, our concert is this week and they have requested that Freddie attend (I will be getting him a nice Christmas hat to wear for the occasion). Thank you so much, I can already see the difference this is making in my students and it has only been a few classes.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Cicelske
PreK-8 Music
Northern Chautauqua Catholic School
Dunkirk, NY


"I just wanted to thank you for coming to our class on Friday - for sharing your materials and experience with us and our students, and for introducing us to Freddie the Frog. The students really enjoyed your class and gained a lot of valuable advice from you.

I thought you would like to know that for the last three nights in a row, my boys have insisted on having the "Freddie and Eli book" read to them under the shining light of a flashlight! They love it, and have memorized all the homes of the difference characters. Thanks for sharing this with us!"


Charlene Ryan, Associate Professor, Music Education, Berklee School of Music

Dear Sharon,

I must apologize. When I read your 'Frog Warning' that Freddie would become overwhelmingly popular....I just didn't take it seriously enough! I have since learned!

I have two students whose Mother works here are our Librarian. The Mom/Librarian - (Laurie) came in to tell me that her daughters have been HOUNDING her to get the Freddie books for the library so they could check them out!!!!! She popped in my room to say: "thanks alot" :)

Also, One of my first grade classes came in and tried to 'hi-jack' my lesson plan by insisting that I read them ANOTHER Freddie Adventure! (just so you know....they won.)

I even had an adult come in and say...he was a frustrated musician and he never learned 'music'... so I just showed him real quickly the staff...the frog - the "F" lines (home and vacation home), Eli's line (and Vacation home) and this man left (within 10 minutes) recognizing the Treble clef and 4 note locations!

What can I say? I think every child taking outside private lessons will impress their teachers with learning the locations of the notes and improving their music reading skills.

We are currently singing Freddie's version of ABC. The kids were astounded to realize that the mystery tune could be any one of three songs! It was great fun. Thanks again.

If you are ever in San Diego...or the Southern California area...please let us know....you would certainly get the red carpet treatment here at Francis Parker School!

Darleen A. Herriman
Music Specialist
Francis Parker Lower School


"Thank you for introducing me to Freddie and his friends! I have a piano background and was a voice major in college. The piano keyboard is a very good visual and connecting the keyboard to the staff makes it so much easier to understand. And kids love stories! I'm at a Title 1 school (72% poverty) and they're always telling us that story telling is one of the best ways to connect with kids of poverty. I absolutely LOVE the Freddie the Frog materials!"

Melody Bean, Kansas

"I've ordered some more of your products from a Canadian supplier. I think we have everything but the posters now. The kids and I really enjoy the stories and the music, so thank you! I hope it catches on in a big way as I agree with you that music is very important. So many teachers don't feel qualified to teach it, but your materials make it easy."

Ms. Shannon Shields
Principal
Sea View Elem./Jr. Sec. School
Port Alice, B.C., V0N 2N0

"I bought all the Freddie books and extras after your presentation at the JW PEPPER session in Kansas City this summer (and we even had lunch together). I have used the Freddie series with GREAT success in my classroom. The kids are funny though--they'll say, "it's just a puppet" but they that kid will be the first to want a hug/high five. Aren't they funny?

Well, I am writing you because my 1st grader re-read "Bass Clef Monster" today. I was just going to review some, but they begged to read it again. I was thrilled. We had already talked about Halloween coming up in a few weeks. The BEES and DRAGON characters made think (along with the ELEPHANT). We discussed that the Elephant wasn't very nice or trustworthy because she kept hinting at "eat" instead of meet. However the Bees and Dragon seemed to be friendly and helpful...but they really weren't good people. I connected this to Halloween or even the horrible idea of "someone driving up to you and offering to take you to get ice cream." The kids knew what to do, but it reinforced the lesson of be careful of strangers. I thought that I should e-mail you, as some other teachers could use this idea, too.

With most of my classes, I have complete 2 books, and they are clamoring to finish the rest (hey, I need to save some for after Christmas). Finally, this may not happen everywhere, but my 4th & 5th graders have heard about Freddie and are jealous that he wasn't around when they were in K-3. They want me to bring him over so they can meet him--it's amazing what word of mouth does.

Have a great day, and thanks again for the help--keep up the good work."

Sam Crust
Kansas City


"Love the correlation with the animals and the notes. I have taught K-8 for 23 years and this THE best way to correlate notes and positions!"

Laura Johnson
South Dakota


"Gosh, I LOVE your book.  It is worth every penny!  The Kindergarteners just listened with their little mouths hanging open and the 2nd graders all when "oooh" when they saw the treble clef and notes---such fun.  What a great way to teach note names and the clef signs.  Thank you again."

Jan Ringstmeyer
Elementary Music Educator
Winner, South Dakota


"Hi Sharon. My name is Jen and I am from the Iowa City District. I met you at the convention this past fall (in Ames). I just wanted to tell you that I love the new book!  My students have been asking when it will be here ever since they heard Treble Clef Island. So I know they will be excited this afternoon.  Freddie has done wonders in my music classroom!  Keep up the good work and thanks for being such a wonderful music advocate!"

Jennifer Jones
General Music
Coralville Central


"I am a Music Education Teacher, and I am always looking for new, fun, and exciting things to bring into my classroom.  I found Freddie The Frog online, and introduced it to my students two weeks ago.  They absolutely loved it!  I am using it all the way up to the fifth grade!  It is helpful for them to learn the notes of the staff in an easier way. Are there other Freddie books?  I would love to continue using him in my classes. Thank you for sharing your creativity!"

Bonnie Rankin
Music Director
Southampton Academy
Courtland, VA


"Both of my schools have ordered the Freddie book, puppet, and flash cards for me this year. I used them for the first time today with kindergarten and first grade. I was amazed that my first graders remembered where everyone lived at the end of the story. They only forgot the azaleas. I thought that was wonderful after only one time of hearing the story. The kindergartners did very well too, although not quite as well as the first. I will definitely be telling colleagues about this. I know I will be able to use the puppet for a variety of things also. Thank you."

Carla Bauer
East and West Elementary
Knoxville, Iowa


"Just wanted to let you know that the kids absolutely love Freddie. The other day they started chanting, "Freddie, Freddie," before I even got a chance to get him out. They all love the story and ask to hear it everyday! I saw one of my students in the grocery store. She saw me, became excited, and waved enthusiastically. She started talking to her mom in Spanish and the only thing I understood was "Hola, Freddie." Then she started singing the "Hello, Freddie" song. It was very cute."

Rodganna Avery
AGWSR Schools
Ackley IA


“I just bought this book about a month ago, and I absolutely love it! I read it to my third graders (this is my first year at the school and I've found that the intermediate students don't know their note names very well) and they took right to it. I drew a large staff on the board and drew a picture of each thing from the book (Freddie, the elephant, the crocodiles and the azaleas) and we reviewed notes that way. I have found that they relate the story very well to the staff! All I have to do is say is...

"Remember where the azaleas grow" and they remember where A is on the staff! I don't have the puppet, but I'd love to get it! I'd love to see more of these types of stories be published, they are wonderful!”


Sabrina LaPointe
Elementary Music Teacher
New York


"Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night is a fresh and innovative way to introduce students to letter names in the treble clef. Students are drawn into the story with imaginative characters and wonderful illustrations. The accompanying story CD and soundtracks are high quality and professionally created. I look forward to the next book!"

Gloria Fields
Pre-K-2nd Grade Music Instructor
Mills Elementary School
School of the Osage R-II


"I wanted to thank you for the great book! My kiddos have learned the staff and it has blown me away! I will be ordering the book, flash cards, and puppet for the school! As soon as you know of another book coming out, I am ready for it! My kids are ready too!  Freddie is the most popular kid in my class!  I am truly amazed at how quickly the kids have picked up the Staff and notes!  I just "quizzed" my Kindergarteners by giving them a staff and having them fill in where everyone is, and most everyone got 100%!  It was awesome!  Please, oh, please, we are ready for a 2nd Adventure!!  Thank you so much for giving me the tools to help my kids blossom and learn in such a fun way!"

Suzanne Campbell
The Barstow School
Early Childhood Music and Movement
Kansas City MO



"Freddie and Frog and the Thump in the Night is definitely a BIG THUMP in my book.  Everything is so professionally done - story and illustrations are wonderful and the accompanying CD is great. This is very usable for a teacher and would give any music classroom a boost."

Karen Unrau
Keyboard West Studios
West Des Moines, IA



"The kids love Freddie. They bring stuffed animals and other small items to sit with Freddie during every music class. Then they ask to hug him as they line up and return to their classroom." - S.B.


"A second-grade student talks to Freddie every music class. At the last class, she told Freddie that his mom was in her backyard!" - S.B.


"As I was individually testing students on remembering what happened at each location on the staff, I was using the Freddie the Frog flashcards. When I turned the card over to show the answer, the student impulsively kissed Freddie on the flashcard!" - S.B.


Freddie the Frog® Books available at:
Mystic Publishing, Inc.
Bradley Bank Bldg. - 2nd Floor
307 North 13th
Centerville, IA, 52544
Phone: 1-866-242-5066