A Gentle African Journey
    by John Cech

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You're hearing the opening of "A Gentle African Journey," from Rhino Recording's International Baby series of CDs. This ambient mix of traditional music, sung by children from Sierra Leone and Libera, combined with new age and pop African rhythms, provides a flowing half hour of lovely layers and textures of sound, all woven together as tight as a fine new basket.

The project has been endorsed by the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center in Los Angeles, as one way to help encourage the kinds of synaptic links and connections in a young child's brain that are so important to every child's emotional and cognitive growth. While much has been said about the Mozart Effect, and the powers of classical European music to open these pathways of development, it is crucial to have available other cultural rhythms, to help children tune their ears and their neurological receptors to other parts of the world and their unique, equally stimulating auditory dynamics. After all, in the global village, it's vital that we learn our own, as well as one another's songs.

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Copyright 2003 John Cech

Today's program reviewed the following work:

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July 2003
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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."