“The Mighty Sky is a shining example of the ways in which educators want to encourage people of all ages to think about and investigate the world around us in creative ways. By engaging us in the universe musically, Alvey, Chapman, and Roboff have helped us understand some ‘mighty’ physics and astronomy concepts in ways that help us to understand and have fun, at the same time!” ~ Vicki H. Metzgar, Ed. D., STEM Hub Director, Tennesse
*By Holly Lebowitz Rossi, of Parents News Now
Did you know that the Grammy Awards has a category called “Best Children’s Album?” And that not one of the five albums nominated this year has anything to do with wheels on busses or Old MacDonald’s farm? These nominees’ work is a testament to the fact that there’s a huge body of award-worthy music out there that parents and kids can enjoy together—without parents fretting about their kids’ desires to “get lucky” or experience “blurred lines.”
All Grammy winners will be announced on Sunday, January 26. The Children’s Music winners won’t be part of the televised award ceremony, but fans can follow along at grammy.com.
Beth Nielsen Chapman
Beth Nielsen Chapman has written songs for Elton John, Bette Midler, and Willie Nelson, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1999 as co-writer of Faith Hill’s hit song “This Kiss.” A breast cancer survivor and environmental activist, Nashville-based Chapman’s latest project had her casting her eyes skyward, and the result—the Grammy-nominated “The Mighty Sky”—is a magical yet scientifically accurate collection of songs that will have listeners gazing at the stars with renewed wonder.
Many of the lush, satisfyingly multi-dimensional lyrics for the album were written by Rocky Alvey, director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory in Nashville, and the album features uplifting spoken-word segments from Dr. C.R. O’Dell, the founding scientist of the Hubble Space Telescope, and Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered the radio and electromagnetic wave-emitting celestial bodies called pulsars. The album’s scientific bone fides—plus a playfully official homage to the scientific method, “Test Re-Test and Verify”—will appeal to those who are already interested in astronomy, while the musical fun of songs like “Zodiacal Zydeco” and “Big Bang Boom” will have kids grooving as they learn. And the lovely “There Is No Darkness” could as easily connect with stargazers peering through a telescope as with anyone looking for some comfort and companionship in the universe.