December 15, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide - Day 39 - Neil Brewer and Friends Are Back In School by Neil Brewer

Songwriter/singer/musician Neil Brewer travels back to school carrying a lunchbox packed with fun, school life memories, and lyrical spontaneity.  For the next half hour or so, pack up your troubles and take a musical stroll down Memory Lane with Neil Brewer and friends.

Reach for your old year book and dust off that old trunk of school memorabilia - Neil Brewer and friends will brighten your day with songs of innocence and nostalgia. Brewer's amusing original compositions merge engaging melodies with lyrical wit and humor. Songs on the "Neil Brewer and Friends Are Back in School" CD compliment Brewer's new book, The 8 O'clock Bell.

The CD covers an array of musical styles and youth oriented topics - themes include sibling rivalry, football, cleaning chalkboard erasers, waiting on the bus, and more. Author, educator, composer, musician, Neil Brewer teaches graduate and undergraduate education courses at Indiana University Southeast. Brewer's one man traveling production of The 8 O'clock Bell is a neat performance that combines music, spoken word, and song. The 8 O'clock Bell has been performed in over 200 schools around the country - now, you can enjoy these songs at home.

The 8 O'Clock Bell
An introduction to school? Certainly, no one beyond the age of six really needs such a thing, but the verses within may well stand as a re-introduction to a world of experiences and their associated feelings which may not be tucked quite as far away as we might think. And no matter where, or when we attended school, many of these experiences and feelings bring us together.

For from its most harrowing bullified nightmares to its most passionate after-the-ballgame dances, from the depths of its most disappointing report cards to its peaks of hilarity, school has been these things, or at least some storied piece of these things, to all of us at one time or another.

Several of the photographs included in this book were taken in schools nearly a hundred years ago, yet they clearly point out to us that, in many ways, school hasn’t dramatically changed since the pencil. Perhaps the styles of the clothes were a little different, or the desks had inkwells - but look to the eyes!

The excitement, wonder, anger, anticipation, worry, humor, love and frustration associated with school is seen on the faces of schoolkids (and teachers) from any era. Thus, this collection of verses rings true for virtually anyone who ever had a lunch money envelope pinned to his or her chest.

Part One: Of Teachers and Teaching, came into existence through my own teaching for the past quarter century, and any- one who has ever taught kids of any grade level will have lived out many a line in these sometimes humorous, sometimes rather reflective verses.

But, no matter what your occupation, you will no doubt find yourself (or someone you knew) within Part Two: Of Classmates and Class. From the class clowns, to those who took the idea of a schoolhouse education a bit more seriously, they’re all here. Of course, their names may be different, but that doesn’t matter.

You know who they really were.

You can hear samples of the CD here.

My Thoughts~!!

I thought the book was a great read, I loved reading about memories of schools and how things once were.  It was a wonderful trip down memory lane and many, I am sure, will find the trip thought-provoking as each of you remembers things.  Some of these memories may not always be good ones, but the situations of our yesteryear helped to shape the people we are today.

I enjoyed the poetic writing style of each of the verses and the accompanying pictures added a wonderful nostalgic flavour to the whole experience.  Many of the pictures shared are reminiscent of yester-year and you find yourself using them as eye-candy after you read each of the verses.

The CD is rich with songs of school and memories as you are taken to the dreaded Dodge Ball games that were infamous of schools past.  Watching that red ball being launched while your gym teacher smiled sadistically from the sidelines is one memory you will be drawn to.

The music is in a folk, country retro mix that is sure to keep everyone amused as they tap their toes to the tunes.  My youngest daughter has taken a real shine to the CD and I often hear it playing from her bedroom.  She likes the references to school being made and finds it entertaining.  She has shared the CD with her friends and not a one of them was disinterested in the writing style and equally agreed that it pleasurable to their ears.

Now, Neil and we here at One Day At A Time would love to give one of our readers the chance to win a copy of the CD, "Neil Brewer and Friends Are Back In School" for their very own~!!

Please enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below...

I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines


  1. I remember squashing up the teacher's banana and then leaving it on her desk to try and peel it at lunchtime.

  2. Thanks for the great review of The Sunbow Prophecy. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Kim will be participating in our Facebook party this afternoon where she'll be giving away 2 e-copies of this book. There are over 40 authors giving away great prizes. Details are at Hope to see you there.

    Wishing you and your readers a wonderful holiday season.


  3. I remember taking a nap under my 2nd grade teachers desk when I was in 3rd grade. My mom was a teacher at the school and she was on a field trip one day. i got really sick and so the nurse sent me to Mrs. Scott's room since she knew I was close to her. I curled up under her desk, with her sweater, until my mom got back from the field trip.


    (oh - email sub under: e.ringwald at yahoo)

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