Music to Boogie to
I am a Canadian living in New Zealand. I have married a New Zealander (a "Kiwi") and we have a gorgeous wee boy that we named Cody. Cody is nearly 18 months and is surprising us daily with the new things he has learned. My sister who lives in NZ also, has recently had a trip to Canada and she brought back your c.d for my son. The first time Cody ever spontaneously broke into dance was listening to your music. It was a bit of a proud moment for me because he's showing that he does have a little bit of Canadian in him. Now, every time I put your c.d on he has a bit of a boogie.
Thanks for the music, Mr. Mitchell!
Sheryl, Malcolm, and Cody Taylor
Aw schucks -- some people say the nicest things...
I wanted to thank you for the absolutely TREMENDOUS presentations you provided to Avon school yesterday. You graciously accommodated our need for two smaller groupings because of (last-minute difficulties with our) gym. I'm thinking it was "meant to be" as you were able to tailor your concerts to juniors and primary age groupings - which made it PERFECT!!! You incorporated so much learning into the concert - just right for each group - THEY LOVED YOU!!!
Total engagement! Everyone here (staff and students) is still talking about it - and the CDs are ALL in use in classrooms right now.
Michael, your music is timeless -- the songs are so sing-able and rhythmic, absolutely perfect for school-aged children! Such a positive and uplifting spirit to it - you read children so well and know how to connect! I was worried about our juniors, especially the grade six students - but you knew exactly who to call on to dance - it was such a joy to watch what happened next! Pure magic!!! I know we'll want to have you come back again.
THANK YOU for coming to Avon and giving us such a special and memorable day!
Janet Jamison, Principal
Avon Public School
That's One BIG Beaver!
The folks at Brechin Elementary School in Nanaimo, BC don't do things in a small way. They created a huge backdrop poster for my concert at their school featuring my favorite Canadian animal.
Erin and Bennet Clouthier shown here, as well as Mom (Colleen) are fantastic Canadiian music supporters too, as evidenced by their cool 'Canada Is For Kids' T-shirts. They look like they should be part of my band.
Pssst! Don't tell anybody but mom Coleen stole the kids away from their own school for a few hours so they could attend the show at Brechin, where she is the music teacher.
Got an Old Postage Stamp Collection in the Attic?
At last, a little time for a hobby. A looooonnnng time ago, as a wee young fella, I had a stamp collection that had been handed down from my grandfather, through my father, etc. It has sat in storage for about the last 40 years. A little while ago I decided to pull it out and -- you guessed it, I got hooked on the hobby again.
Now, whenever I get a little time off in between tours around the country I pull out the collection and work on it a bit. It’s great, only now I’m addicted to it! Actually, that’s a good thing, I think. I’ve been working so many long days, weeks and months for so many years, I never really forced mayself to take some time off to just relax with a hobby and go into another world for a while. It's proven to be a wonderfully relaxing pass time.
Of course, now I’ve got to ‘feed this animal’ and add some more material to my collection. So, if anyone out there has a dusty old collection of stamps in the attic or basement and wants to part with it, let me know. Maybe you’d like to swap them for CDs or some other items in my product store.
Let me know!
Someone has a really good memory
"Ten years later, and I still remember all your songs from "Canada Is For Kids- Volume 1". In 1999 as a grade 2 student attending Clark Boulevard Public School in Brampton, Ontario, I sat in the gym with the rest of my peers and awaited a performance that would change my love for music forever. As you got in front of the rowdy audience and began to belt out your "Canada Is For Kids- Volume 1" songs, I was in complete aw. My mom bought my sister and two brothers and I the then on tape Canada Is For Kids- Volume 1 to share, a pen each and temporary tattoos. Sadly, the tape was ruined since we were so young but your songs are still embeded in my memory. To this day, I have and always will love the songs you have created for children to let them know that our country is great and that we should be proud of it. Thank you for contributing to my childhood and to the others who enjoy your music as well."
Grade 12 student, Karen Younghusband
Great Canadian Spirit!
The folks at Ecole Irvine Elementary School in Coquitlam, BC sure know how to make someone feel welcome. What a great sign. And boy, can they ever sing well too -- in
both English and French. They also had great Canadian spirit dressing in Red & White and celebrating their pride in Canada.
What is Michael doing?
This is Michael Mitchell like you've never seen him before. Unless you're a Paratrooper that is. Back in 1982, when Michael was still an Army Reserve Officer, he made what is believed to be the world's first, and only, military parachute jump wearing a kilt (in sub-zero weather). Michael was an officer in the famous Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. All members of this distinguished highland regiment wear kilts. And, as he was also a paratrooper, well these kinds of things just sort of happen, you know? HOWEVER... on this particularly chilly March day in Edmonton, Alberta the temperature was a frigid minus 27 degrees celsius! Add the wind chill factor into the equation and you can just imagine how cold it was. I'm sure no one in their right mind will ever try a stunt like that again. Certainly Michael won't! And no, he was not wearing 'long-johns' under his kilt.
$$ Cash for Schools $$
Schools always need extra cash to pay for special activities and other needs not otherwise covered in their budgets. To help these worthy causes Michael gives back 20% from all products sold by any school which hosts one of his showsl. Over the years he has contributed more than $250,000 to schools across the country.
Visit the Cash for Schools page to see how your school can make money with this program.
Awards and Nominations
- Michael was nominated in the category of Best Children's Release for Canada Is For Kids Volume 2 at the West Coast Music Awards.
- He was also nominated in the same category for an 'Indie' award for best independent release at the Canada Music Week celebrations.
- Canada Is For Kids - Volume 2 was awarded an Our Choice Award by the Canadian Children's Book Association.
- Canada Is For Kids - Volume 3 was also nominated for in Independent Music Award (Indie).
- Canada Is For Kids - Volume 3 was awarded a Starred Selection as a product of Exceptional Calibre by the Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC).
|Student Photos - Central African Republic
When a small school in Africa wanted to learn something about Canada, Victoria based children's singer Michael Mitchell was eager to oblige 200 of his Canada Is For Kids coloring books and some of his Canadiana recordings to his favourite cause -- promoting Canadian heritage.
|Michael Mitchell donated hundreds of 'Canada Is For Kids' colouring books to a school in the Central African Republic so that they could learn about Canada.
||Michael Mitchell, commonly referred to as Canada's roving musical ambassador, shared his unique vision of Canadian heritage with grade six students of Boy Rabe Mixte school in Bengui, Central African Republic, as part of a correspondence project between these students and the French Immersion students of LeMarchand- St-Thomas School in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
<< Kids from the Central African Republic use 'Canada Is For Kids' colouring books to learn about our country.
These kids from the Central African Republic have never seen a beaver before! >>
Another Generation of Proud Canadian Music Supporters
My name is Heather and I'm a grade 3/4 teacher in Calgary, Alberta. I remember hearing Michael Mitchell sing when I was in elementary school in Ontario, many, many years ago! I remember convincing my parents to buy me a copy of Volume 1, which I listened to over and over and over again! When I moved away from home, I misplaced my copy and will be purchasing a new copy of it. Every now and then I will remember a song from the album and remember how effective those songs were for helping me learn about Canada! I am excited to use them in my classroom now that I'm a teacher!
Many thanks for having such a wonderful impact on me and my education of Canadian heritage!
Have a super day!
Heather G. Johnstone, Calgary, AB
<<<<< They've got Canada in their pocket!
Here is a picture of 4 Grade 3s from Amisk School in east-central Alberta. The children are holding a penny, and a nickel and a quarter and a dime – just like in the song “Canada In My Pocket.” We performed this at a school assembly yesterday. The crowd went wild! Thank you for writing this song! We like it a lot!
The Grade 3s at Amisk School
|This one is from Thailand!
Hi there! I just wanted to thank you again for your kindness in sending us some of your fantastic songs to help with our work on Canada. Yesterday, after listening to the songs pretty much all day, both in class and after (and it is SO hard not to dance while you're wearing your iPod - I was a hair's breadth from gathering up my skirts and whirling off down the streets of Bangkok, I tell you, both last night and this morning) I've chucked out half my planning and rearranged our topic work around your songs. Today we have used 'Canada in My Pocket' as a springboard for work on learning about Maple Leaves, Beavers, Caribou and Schooners as well as doing times tables work based around the nickle, dime and toonie. Meanwhile, the kids have composed a thank you letter, which I shall transcribe:
Dear Mr Mitchell,
Thank you for sending us the funny songs! We love them! Yesterday we learned 'Land of the Silver Birch' and we listened to you singing it. We really liked the 'boom didiyada' part! We have learned about some Canadian animals like the grizzly bear, the moose, the kiler whale, the polar bear, the wolf, the beaver, the elephant seal and the arctic fox. In Thailand it's very hot so we don't have these kinds of animals. Intead we have elephants, tigers, snakes and buffalo. We have also learned about the map of Canada, with the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Alberta and Vancouver Island. Today we will learn about Canadian coins.
Love from the Year 2 Tigers!
There you have it in their own words - they're really getting a kick out of the songs and it's really helping bring the subject alive for them. Oh! And we've got a photograph of you and some of your bio details from the website as the centrepiece of our Canada display - you're a celebrity in Thailand now!
love and thanks,
(who DEFINITELY wants to be Canadian when she grows up!)
"This is Margo Broadbent from Romeo School in Stratford. We all loved your concert, as did the staff and students at Upper Thames School in Mitchell, Ontario. Our kids are still raving about it! I wanted to share with you the following story:
Katie, a sweet, diminutive blue-eyed blonde Junior Kindergarten girl, had a terrible fear of storms. From the time she arrived at school last September, she would ask me, with much anxiety, if I thought it was going to storm. This happened every day. Her fear was so intense that it overcame her common sense - meaning that on sunny, cloudless, blue skyed days, she was still afraid a storm might come up any second. When the Grade 2/3 class above us moved furniture around, Katie flew into a panic, thinking it was thunder! She was so scared that I thought I should conduct some weather experiments in the classroom (it is my contention that if children study things that frighten them, such as spiders or bats, their newfound understanding will consequently cause them to be less afraid). So, we learned what causes thunder and lightning... we made it 'rain' using a teakettle and ice cubes, we learned about sparks and loud noises, how to be safe during a storm, etc.
Isn't that so, so cute? I thought you would like this story! Just another example of the impact your songs have on little kids."
Fast forward to last Friday. There had been a storm the night before. Concerned about Katie, I asked her if she had heard the thunder. She said, yes, she had, that it had awakened her. In fact, it had scared her so much that she thought she would have to crawl into her mother's bed with her. "But", she said with a smile, "I was thinkin' I don't need to be afraid of storms anymore, so I just sang my favourite song to myself and went back to sleep!" She was obviously quite pleased with herself. I asked her what the 'favourite song' was that caused her to forget her fear of storms. "Canada In My Pocket!" was her confident reply.
- Margo Broadbent, Stratford, Ontari
“Thank you very much for coming to Peace River again today. I was fortunate enough to have attended one of your concerts several years ago when my son was in Springfield school (he's now in grade 12 and still remembers many of your songs!), so it was a real treat to see and hear you again. I've used your CD many times, first as a parent with young children, and now in my role as a private music teacher. I believe strongly in promoting Canadian music and serve as the MC for our local Canada Music Week recital each November. I had hoped to speak to you personally after the concert, but had to teach lessons over the noon hour. As co-incidence would have it, this very morning before the concert I was teaching "My Paddle's Keen and Bright" to one of the grade 2 students who was in the audience only an hour later. I'm looking forward to receiving your Volume 2 CD so I can play some more Canadian songs for my students. It's unfortunate that we don't have a tradition of Canadian folk-song singing here on the Prairies, most likely since ours is a relatively new part of Canada and most of the folk songs stem from Eastern Canadian history and heritage. It's sad to say, but to many young Westerners, the Canadian folk songs could well be from a completely different country. That's why it is so important you continue to do what you do. You are a real ambassador and should feel proud of the contribution you are making to Canadian music literacy!”
- Joan Corcoran, Peace River, AB
"I have submitted a little joke about you and my daughter Shawna to Readers Digest magazine. You were scheduled to appear at my daughters' school (Ecole Oriole Park School in Red Deer, Alberta where my daughter is in grade two). In preparation the school had the kids learning your songs. I get so used to my daughter singing silly songs that I didn't pay too much attention to the fact that she was singing "I've got Canada in my pocket, and a little bit of LISTERINE" After your appearance (at the school) I realized LISTERINE was actually HISTORY. Months have passed yet I am still laughing over this one! Your music is great. I found your site just so I could buy some of your music. Thank you for your music and the laughter it has brought me too."
- Karen Duncan, Red Deer, Alberta
Michael Loves Letters!
Do you want to write to Michael?
He loves to get letters, emails and maybe a drawing or photo as well.
You can send letters to:
MKM Music Productions Ltd., 17-520 Marsett Place
Victoria, BC. V8Z 7J1
Or you can email him at: