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Singing with some future pioneers of sus

"You absolutely captivated

the kids and touched

so many grade levels."

David Thornley, Principal at Cabrillo Elementary

Booking Martin and the Green Guitar for your school is the best way to inspire your students to think green and build a more sustainable future.  The assembly is 45mins in length and is filled with original singalong songs and stories pulled from recent environmental history and current events that highlight the importance of environmental health and sustainability.  The students are encouraged to sing along, call and respond, add lyrics and ideas of their own, participate in games, and provide rhythms with claps and foot stomps throughout the assembly.  As the show concludes, students leave with clear ideas of what they can do to take better care of the Earth.  For a detailed walkthrough of a typical assembly, see the outline below.  Message or call now to book Martin and the Green Guitar at your school today!  



detailed setlist for a K-6 assembly


-- All of the songs mentioned below are original songs and can be found on my album “We Are All Connected,” on Spotify, Apple Music, Itunes, or purchased through my website:


Intro -  Brief explanation of my story, when I began playing music, when I went back to college to study the environment, when I got married and had kids, when I started writing environmental songs for children.



After a brief explanation and walkthrough of what parts they can sing, this song is the flagship singalong song of the assembly...outlining different environmental issues and asking, “How long would you sustain our planet...we all shout out “INFINITY!””



Before singing this song, I give quick examples of healthy food and unhealthy food for their bodies and explain that there are healthy and unhealthy foods for the Earth.  I let them know this is one of the most important ways they can help make the Earth more sustainable since everyone eats three times a day and what they choose to eat affects both the Earth’s health and their own.



This song is a call and response singalong about not needing so much stuff to be happy since all your old junk will end up in a landfill.  In the song I use the example of eating too much candy and how sick you feel afterwards.



As a preface to this song, I discuss the Pacific Garbage Patch, the large floating plastic island in the Pacific Ocean, that students almost always have never heard of.  I describe that it is twice the size of Texas and how us adults clearly don’t know where to put our garbage.



I explain that California, though one of the most progressive energy states in the country, still gets half of its energy from burning fossil fuels.  I use examples like my battery and solar panel (I power all of my own shows with a solar-powered battery) to show that 100% clean energy is possible, and that until that happens, it is wise to conserve electricity at home.  This song has a break in it that gives students the opportunity to participate and add activities they like to do that use no electricity.


--break in songs for THE MEAT vs VEGGIES POLLUTION GAME

This game calls up three volunteers with the promise that the winner will win a free Martin and the Green Guitar CD (all three volunteers always get a CD regardless of whether they can complete the challenge).  This game shows the amount of pollution that goes into the atmosphere with each different type of meat, one less sustainable than the next.  This game calls up three volunteers, one that will pretend to eat a steak, one that will eat a piece of chicken, and one that is willing to eat a vegetarian meal.  Each volunteer will hold the weight of pollution released when they eat their meal.  This is demonstrated by the students all holding different weighted balls (vegetarian meal = 0.5 lbs pollution, chicken meal = 2lbs pollution, steak meal = 10lbs pollution).  These numbers are taken from the data shown in a scientific study by the Environmental Working Group titled “Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health” found at this link:


If they can all hold their “pollution” up for a minute, they win a cd.  The students experience how much more pollution enters the atmosphere as they watch their fellow students struggle with the steak, and less so with the chicken and veggies.  This leaves a lasting impression and will make them consider healthy options for their diet in the future.



I always sing this song after the pollution game.  After playing the pollution game, I introduce the students to the idea that many scientists believe bugs will be the protein of the future.  I explain (through their groans of disgust) how humans and civilizations have eaten bugs for thousands of years and still do in some cultures.  They usually see the value of bugs as a source of food once I explain that meat from bugs has the same pollution as vegetables, and only takes 1-2 gallons of water to produce per pound (vs meat from a cow which takes 1000-2000 gallons of water per pound).



Before this song I discuss the drought of California and droughts in other parts of the world, and what residents of those countries sometimes have to endure to live through it.  I stress the importance of always saving and conserving water use whenever possible before singing this song that gives simple ideas of ways to save water at home.



My parting message is a simple roundabout singalong song with easy lyrics to learn that reminds the students that we need the Earth and the Earth needs us.  We are all in this together and we should work together toward a healthier and greener planet.


--between these songs I usually include a parody song or two of popular songs heard on the radio which I’ve changed the lyrics to to match my environmental message.  Students especially love my song “The Planet Ooh Na Na”, a parody of Camila Cabello’s “Havana”

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