News Column

Music teacher puts on free children's concerts

September 1, 2014

By Leticia Gutierrez, Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

Sept. 01--Obie Leff, longtime music teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Yuba City, is bringing an earful of cheerful sound to youngsters and their parents.

It comes through the Fun Family Friday children's concert series sponsored by First 5 Yuba and the Yuba County Office of Education.

The fourth free concert in the new program's schedule is at 6 p.m. Friday at the Salvation Army Transitional Housing Units, 5900 Riverside Drive, West Linda, near Cedar Lane School.

"It's been so fun. The responses from the kids have been great," Leff said recently about the musical program aimed at children up to 5 years old.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Songs in the hour-long show include "Can You Rhyme It?" a rap song where the audience fills in the rhymes at the end of each line; "1, 2, 3, Count with Me" where Leff is joined on stage by puppet Moose the Mouse; and "The Five Senses."

The show always closes with "ABC You Later."

"They are eager, they sing and dance, their parents seem to love it," Leff said.

"Everyone is having a great time at the concerts."

The first 20 families with children zero to 5 years receive a CD of songs heard at the concert, lyrics and a poster to take home.

Leff, 42, of Sutter has been writing educational songs for 17 years, since his eldest son was born.

"I have taken some of my favorites from throughout the years, included songs for English language arts, math, science and social studies, and wrapped them up into a fun, energetic live concert," he said.

In addition to teaching music at Franklin School, he has also performed in the community over the years, including at Bishop's Pumpkin Farm and the Yuba-Sutter Fair and at educators conferences in the state. He also has about 10 albums of songs.

Fun Family Friday, with Leff, continues at 6 p.m.Sept. 19 at the Yuba College gazebo near the preschool, 2088 N. Beale Road in Linda, and at 6:30 p.m.Sept. 26 at Kids Country Careland, 900 Olive St., Wheatland.

The concert series has also included performance July 18 at the community swimming pool in Olivehurst, Aug. 1 at the Beale Air Force Base community center and Aug. 22 at the Camptonville School amphitheater.

The program is in support of First 5 California's Talk Read Sing campaign, said Thelma Amaya, child development behavioral specialist with the Yuba County Office of Education.

The concerts are "a great opportunity for families and children to come out together, connect, listen to music and enjoy the outdoors," she said.


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Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)

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