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Interview: Alex Mitnick (Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band)

A clean, authentic sound coupled with essential life lessons allows Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band to present music for children in a way that enhances their creative and cognitive development. Many studies have proven the positive effect that music has on growing children, and that’s why bands such as Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band are so important and amazing. The band has a sound that reminds us of The Mamas & the Papas mixed with The Beatles.

I had the privilege of interviewing Alex Mitnick and his affinity for music is paramount. As a parent, I also understand the importance of music and exposing your children to beats and sounds.

How did you get your start?

Close friends. Hired them to play gigs. I originally went to school for jazz guitar to learn craft. I went into teaching but didn’t want to get in the business of playing pointless gigs. Music is a powerful tool in communication. Teaching school for the last 14 years, wrote songs and musicals. Now that I am a parent, I can now sing songs from a different perspective. Now, we have our own TV show on Channel 25 NYC TV WNYE.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Bobby McFerrin. Grew up listening to The Grateful Dead, Digable Planets, Led Zeppelin, and 90’s Hip-Hop.

As a parent, How do you use music to encourage the development of your child?

Having music on in the house, singing to him and having him respond to me has been crucial. Now he’s a ham, when people are around he starts dancing. Even when we’re cleaning up, we bang on bowls and make up funny words and other techniques to help his development.

How do you feel music inspires development in children?

Famous studies identified 8 aspects human intelligence in children. Which include math & science, interpersonal, spatial, and musicality-matching pitch with voice. Learning to sing on pitch is almost as essential as learning to read and walk. Music is a natural way to bring something fun to the relationship with the children.

Music has changed so much through the years, what would you say are some of the biggest differences between now and let’s say 20 years ago?

There was so much more musicianship 20 years ago. Music today is more like wallpaper, and originality is missing. What’s great is that you can create on a laptop. But what’s interesting is that the two biggest songs of the year were songs from children’s movies. “Happy” by Pharell from Despicable Me 2 and “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen.

Speaking of Frozen, my daughter is a huge fan of the movie, what do you think attracted so many children to the songs from the movie?

The movie is a good vehicle for a strong message. Kids need the inspiration and when you’re trying to teach fundamental morals on how to be a good person.

Many of our readers are aspiring musicians, what advice would you give to them?

  • Get a day job that will allow you to work on your creativity and give you enough time to work on your craft.
  • Have patience and be willing to commit to the long haul.
  • Digging deep to find the source as to why you’d want to be an artist.
  • Have faith! There’s always going to be someone better, but you’re better than average. Justify your sacrifices.
  • alex-mitnick-grungecake-thumbnail

    What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word GrungeCake?

    Sweet and delicious. You have to go through the hard stuff to get to the sweet. It’s a metaphor for life as an artist.

    Thank you for your time Alex!

    No problem! Thank you!

    Be sure to catch Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band on WNYE at 10AM.

    Written by Manny King John

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