“Love Yourself” (Anti-Bullying Song), by Khari Toure

LY Collage

An awesome music video with a catchy beat, ideal for showing to any child who has ever been bullied.  “The Forever Years” likes this… and so do lots of others, judging from it’s online popularity.

This girl, like many others, is facing being bullied at school. When her Dad, Khari, hears about it, he has the perfect solution to fight back with these bullies in a way that leaves them powerless. No doubt, his heart was broken hearing that his beautiful daughter was being ridiculed. The world is different today, even if a child was bullied at school, when they went home they had a reprieve from it. But in today’s connected society, even in homes, bullies can make their way through social media.

So, using his talent, and also the power of social media, this loving Dad wrote a song for his daughters to let them know how loved they are and though there will always be those to criticize, they don’t have to rely on other people’s approval. They have to know they are beautiful and priceless. This is one very wise father with a perfect message for everyone to hear.

“5 Ways in which Kids Benefit from Learning a Musical Instrument” By Justine Pierre

 justine easy to upload FYMeet Justine

Justine Pierre is a  musician and teacher based in Dunedin, New Zealand. While her primary instrument is flute, she also teaches recorder, clarinet, ukulele and an after school programme for primary school aged children called “Let’s Make Music”. She is the Senior Tutor for Flute, Ukulele and LMM for Saturday Morning Music Classes.

Contact Justine:

Facebook.com/ justine’s-flute-page

Facebook.com/ Saturday-morning-music-classes-dunedin


Music & Kids Header FY

  1. Strengthen Neurons/Brain Development

A neuron is a nerve cell which transmits information around the body (think of them as brain cells). A synapse is a connection which helps information pass from one neuron to another. Think of it like a bridge. The more the synapses are used, the stronger the bridges become. The best way to strengthen a synapse is repetition – a key factor in learning a musical instrument. The more your child practices their instrument, the stronger the synapses become and therefore the stronger the links between their neurons.

As this TED-Ed video by Anita Collins explains, playing a musical instrument uses all parts of the brain – the left hemisphere of the brain is generally used for activities like languages, mathematics and logic, while the right hemisphere is used for spatial abilities and visual imagery. This means that playing music strengthens synapses throughout the entire brain. (Click below to see video).

  1. Sense of Discipline and Commitment

Music lessons instil a sense of discipline and commitment in children. You cannot become good at music just turning up to a lesson once a week. Practicing at home means children learn skills such as time management (they have to juggle homework, other activities, playing with their friends). They also learn to practice effectively. To become good at playing a piece of music means you have to go over the tricky bits as well as the easy bits. This teaches children determination and tenacity – skills that are useful in a myriad of situations – school, sports, negotiating with mum for a sleepover… through music lessons children also learn how to behave appropriately. They will learn when and when not to play their instruments and that listening to others is respectful. They learn about taking turns. All these lessons can easily be transferred to other situations.

Singing Quote FY

  1. Thinking Creatively, which Helps with Other Subjects

Music lessons help children to think creatively and problem-solve – skills that can help in other subject areas. A 2008  study shows that learning a musical instrument can help improve memorisation skills and also pattern-recognition and sequential learning needed for reading and maths. The study also found that exposure to music education is correlated with phonological awareness – the awareness of the sound and sound structure of words – an early indicator of future reading ability. Students who had musical instruction were also found to be more motivated with other learning.

See link (to study):


Musical training can also help children think creatively. Often in the Arts, there is more than one answer to a question. Sometimes this can be uncomfortable for children, particularly those who are very literal, but through music, children can be gradually introduced to different opinions or outlooks on life. Music is related to all the Arts (visual, dramatic, philosophical, historical) and by learning music children are exposed to these other Art forms and can begin to create links to all facets of life.

Joe Sun 30th Nov, piano man! FY

A 9 year old during a piano recital

  1. Expression

Music is a way of expressing what words cannot. Written music uses a series of symbols to communicate to the player what sounds to produce. It is then up to the player to interpret these symbols, infuse them with their own emotions and express this to a listener.

Music is another tool for expression for those who cannot communicate orally. Children with special needs are often drawn to music and can become fixated with particular songs. In my experience they often love playing instruments (drums, shakers, xylophones) and will happily make up rhythms and rhymes to match their mood or feelings. Music can help with language development – it’s not uncommon for a usually non-verbal child to fixate on a song and repeat the lyrics over and over.

Learning an instrument can also be valuable for children on the Autistic Spectrum. The “rules” of music – the mathematical connection to patterns – can be soothing and the structure can appeal to these children. The British Association of Music Therapy cites other advantages such as helping children to listen, improving concentration and helping to build relationships.

See link:


Music is another way of communicating. The conductor of an orchestra communicates non-verbally to the musicians the volume, the tempo and the feel of the music. Chamber musicians communicate with each other in a similar way. For children, this helps with picking up non-verbal cues and understanding body-language.

banjo FY

Justine Pierre, author of this article, playing the banjo.

  1. Sense of Community and Friendship

Arguably the most important aspect of music lessons is the sense of community and belonging and the friendships music creates. Music caters for both the introverted and the extroverted child and encourages aspects of “the other” in all children.

The introverted child might enjoy the solitude of individual practice, yet will gain much from joining in with others in group lessons, participating in orchestras or choirs.  Conversely, the more extroverted child who thrives on the social interaction music provides, will benefit from the introspection practicing by themselves provides.

In music-making, each player makes their own unique contribution to the creation of something that is bigger than the sum of its parts. In music, the players are working together to create something, and without the competitive elements of sport.

Mistake Quote FY

Links to follow:






“Sleeping Child”: a song for all our children…

Sleepin Child Collage FY

Sleeping Child” is a single by the Danish soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock, from the 1993 album Colours.  We at “The Forever Years” love this song!  It epitomises our ethos that all the children of the world are our children.  We are all part of the Global Family.  Those of us who are adults in this family have a duty and responsibility towards all our children, particularly those who are vulnerable.  How would the world look if all our adults took a serious and personal interest in this responsibility?

We have created a “Forever Years Video” to go with these lyrics (click below).  The lyrics to the song Sleeping Child” were written by Jascha Richter and are printed below, after the video. We will also include this song on our “Music” page, where you can find other songs which we feel represent “The Forever Years”.    Sit back and enjoy!  We dedicate this, along with our blog, to our Global Family and Children…

The Milky Way upon the heavens
Is twinkling just for you
And Mr. Moon, he came by
To say goodnight to you

I’ll sing for you, I’ll sing for mother
We’re praying for the world
And for the people everywhere
Gonna show them all we care

Oh, my sleeping child the world’s so wild
But you’ve built your own paradise
That’s one reason why
I’ll cover you, sleeping child

If all the people around the world
They had a mind like yours
We’d have no fighting and no wars
There would be lasting peace on Earth

If all the kings and all the leaders
Could see you here this way
They would hold the Earth in their arms
They would learn to watch you play

Oh, my sleeping child the world’s so wild
But you’ve built your own paradise
That’s one reason why
I’ll cover you, sleeping child

I’m gonna cover my sleeping child
Keep you away from the world so wild
Keep you away from the world
Away from the world so wild

Oh, my sleeping child the world’s so wild
But you’ve built your own paradise
That’s one reason why
I’ll cover you, sleeping child

Oh, my sleeping child the world’s so wild
But you’ve built your own paradise
That’s one reason why
I’ll cover you, sleeping child

Bear bub FY

The Sleeping Children Around the World online community

SCAW logo pms
“The Forever Years” has discovered this great charity for helping children to sleep around the world: “Sleeping Children Around the World”.
Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) donations provide bedkits to children of any race and/or religion who will benefit the most; typically being located in underdeveloped and developing countries.

No portion of a bedkit donation is spent on administration — 100% reaches a needy child. Each *$35 donation (Canadian funds) provides a bedkit that consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothes outfit, and school supplies. Bedkit contents vary from country to country depending upon local needs.

Since its founding by Murray and Margaret Dryden in 1970, SCAW has raised over $23 million to provide bedkits for children in 33 countries. In 2009 SCAW reached their millionth child.

Every child is photographed with the bedkit, showing the donor’s name/country (or special occasion message) on a label.

Each photograph is then mailed back to the original donor, providing a timeless way for the donor to remember the child who so greatly benefited from their generosity.

Follow link: http://scaw.thankyou4caring.org/