Tim Griffin has, for years, been creating music. At his web site, GriffinEd, he proclaims that his mission is to “create the best kid-friendly STEAM/STEAM/folk/filk music site in the universe. Today’s Video of the Day is of Griffin singing a song written by his friend, the remarkable Dr. Ada Palmer, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the College at the University of Chicago.
The song is called Somebody Will, and it is a glory. Tim Griffin puts his own soul and spirit into this performance of a song most of us have not heard – a song which, in these difficult, troubled times in which so many of us seem to have lost our way, brings us a message that we as geeks and nerds have always understood, but have perhaps forgotten.
We, the geeks and nerds of the world, spend so much of our time either yearning to contribute to something greater than ourselves, hearing the call of a brighter, better future and feeling unable to respond. This song cuts through our despair and speaks directly to our hearts, reminding us that we are part of something much greater than ourselves.
It’s not that the dreams we share are impossible. It just seems that way because they are so large, and the goals so distant. Somebody Will reminds us that despite our failings as a species, that steps forward are steps forward no matter who makes them. The journey may be long, but the path is clear, and we are the adventurers who help create that new frontier, and that brave new world.
About Tim Griffin
Tim taught all subjects in Title-1 elementary schools in Los Angeles for 18 years before giving up his tenure to start Griffin Education Solutions, better known as GriffinEd. He loves writing and sharing new music with kids and seeing how they not only get excited about the STEM and other subjects we teach, but actually perform better on standards-based assessments of their knowledge and vocabulary when they work with our music. Tim has performed to great hilarity and edification for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Teachers’ Association, the California Science Teachers’ Association, Mensa, dozens of science fiction & filk conventions, plus a few hundred schools, libraries, museums, and other places of learning. In 2014, Tim won the Pegasus Award for best songwriter/composer. He considers himself a teacher first, a musician and storyteller second.
Griffin Education Solutions (GriffinEd) is a 501c3 educational non-profit (IRS #45-5513411) dedicated to putting music to work for education. Their goal is to give every child access to fun(!) music that will help them master the content and vocabulary they need for success in school, regardless of ability to pay.
Their website, www.GriffinEd.org, is a free online library of fun educational music for kids in grades K-8th. All the music is free for streaming and download, along with printable lyrics, lesson ideas for teachers, and detailed notes on alignment to the standards of the Common Core, NGSS, etc. They also offer live shows and songwriting workshops; payment for these is optional for schools and other places of learning. A study in 2013 showed significant gains in students’ science vocabulary after only two weeks of working with our music for a few minutes each day. GriffinEd does not consider this a fluke, for they work in the same tradition as the bards, skalds, and griots who have kept and spread their peoples’ knowledge since humans first sat around a campfire.
GriffinEd is mostly funded by tax-deductible donations. If you agree that music is one of our most powerful tools for memory and that all children should have free access to fun teaching songs, please consider making a tax-deductible donation of any amount.
About Dr. Ada Palmer
Dr. Ada Palmer is a historian and scholar, science fiction novelist, composer, and anime and manga consultant. A true renaissance woman (as one might expect, given her fields of study), she is Assistant Professor of History at Chicago University. Her specialty is intellectual history, or the history of ideas. It is her way of exploring how history and thought shape each other over time. She considers the Italian Renaissance as a perfect moment for approaching this question because at that point the ideas about science, religion, and the world that had developed in the Middle Ages suddenly met those of the ancient world, reconstructed from rediscovered sources. All at once many beliefs, scientific systems, and perceived worlds clashed, mixed, and produced an unprecedented range of new ideas, which in turn shaped the following centuries and, thereby, our current world.
For more about Dr. Ada Palmer, her studies, her books and her music, please visit AdaPalmer.com.