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Kid Pan Alley

Kid Pan Alley started with a brilliant, yet obvious discovery—kids make the greatest song co-writers. Kid Pan Alley is a national children’s songwriting project developed by Trapezoid’s Paul Reisler in which children are inspired to be creators of their own music and not just consumers of popular culture.  To date, we’ve written more than 1,500 songs with some 25,000 children from Hawaii to Virginia.

Long-term in-school residencies also may include a CD of some of the songs performed by professional musicians in that community. In 2008, Kid Pan Alley’s Paul Reisler and Terri Allard spent 8 weeks in elementary schools in the greater Charlottesville, VA area writing 80 songs with more than 1800 children. Our new Kid Pan Alley Charlottesville album, I Used To Know The Names Of All The Stars, features some of those songs, recorded by Sissy Spacek, Corey Harris, John McCutcheon, David Lowery and Cracker, Jesse Winchester, Sparky’s Flaw and many other great artists who call Charlottesville home. Past CD projects feature world-renowned artists including Delbert McClinton, Amy Grant, Kix Brooks, Raul Malo, Suzy Bogguss, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and many others performing the songs co-written with Nashville-area kids.

Kid Pan Alley has won Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Gold awards, 7 ASCAP Foundation awards and a Grammy nomination.


Kid Pan Alley uses the group songwriting process to teach children to express their creativity. Kid Pan Alley’s songwriting residencies and character development assemblies also:

-Promote self-awareness and self-confidence by attaching value to the students’ creative impulses;

-Help children experience creative expression as a means of embracing diversity, teamwork, and collaboration;

-Support creativity as a prime skill to all critical thinking and problem-solving;

-Help children learn and increase their ability to learn. Kid Pan Alley addresses national learning standards in the areas of creativity, music, English, performance, and connects to other areas of learning including History, Civics, Science, and Health. We think this is one of the most important outcomes of our program.

-Promote community awareness of the arts as essential elements of instruction in children’s lives

-Foster collaboration between students, teachers, administrators, artists, and the community.

-Teach respect for intellectual property. Children who have written their own songs have a first-hand understanding of the negative effects of “pirating” on creators.

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