Press Release For Media
Going back to school is not so bad when you have the coolest teacher in America.
Mr. Duey, an elementary and middle school teacher and musician uses Rap in his classroom to teach students History, Math, Science and Language Arts.
Teachers, students and parents are excited about Mr. Duey who is setting the world on fire with his educational rap CD’s that has had a tremendous impact on students in his Michigan school.
Educational leaders promoting innovative teaching interventions have described Mr. Duey’s CD as a revolutionary tool to advance academic learning. Even Mr. Duey’s students call him “the coolest teacher.” ( Check out his web site at: www.mrduey.com )
Mr. Duey’s video called “Fractions” is now one of the TOP FIVE most watched VIDEOS on Teacher Tube! www.teachertube.com
Mr. Duey has been featured by WJR, WWJ, WDIV, WDET in Detroit, WTIC in Hartford, WHFS-FM Baltimore, National Education Association, Scholastic numerous outlets around the world including Southern China Morning Post.
The press release below has more information. If you would like a review copy or to speak to Mr. Duey please contact me.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Kaas Agency
Experts Say Mr. Duey Will Revolutionize Learning:
RIVERVIEW, MICHIGAN –While rap music may be harmful to the solitude of parents, the hip-hop beat is proving to be very beneficial for students as a fun way to raise test scores and improve report cards.
A new educational rap CD called Class Dis-Missed has been released by Mr. Duey of Riverview, Michigan. ( www.mrduey.com )
Mr. Duey, an elementary and middle school teacher and rap musician, has produced CD’s of rap music designed to teach children Math, Science, English and Social Studies with songs about Integers, Nouns, Cells and many more subjects. Educational leaders promoting innovative teaching interventions have described Mr. Duey’s CD as a revolutionary tool to advance academic learning.
During the three-month test phase, “Class Dis-Missed” had more than 4,200 sales by word-of-mouth marketing only and has generated numerous testimonials of standardized test scores rising 10 to 25 percent and subject grades from “C’s” to “A’s” and “B’s”.
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, a professor of education at Eastern Michigan University who has been named Teacher of the Year, states that Mr. Duey’s educational rap project will change education for eternity.
“Mr. Duey is exceptionally talented who has created a rap curriculum that I believe will transform our schools,” says Dr. Johnson. “Teachers from all over the U.S. representing diverse culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic status testify to me that Mr. Duey’s music has profoundly increased academic achievement as well as greatly decreasing discipline problems.”
A 13-year-old girl said that after listening to 4-5 songs she made the Honor Roll three times. Sam Childs, English teacher at Southgate Gerisch Middle School where Mr. Duey now teaches, says, “Getting students excited about learning is half the battle. However, when they are so excited about the method that they forget they are doing work, the battle is already won.”
“Music as a learning tool has been used for generations by preschoolers to learn their alphabet by singing the letters,” says Mr. Duey. “The repetition used in rap parallels the repetition long recognized as a powerful learning method. Sesame Street became a successful learning source by combining music and repetition. Now, decades later, educational rap is becoming even more popular with elementary students than Sesame was for pre-schoolers.”
“Class Dis-Missed” and educational rap has been exhibited by Andrew Yando during recent months to 500-700 teachers and educators at educational conferences throughout the U.S. including New York, Chicago, and Kansas City. “The teachers have shared songs from our first CD with children throughout the U.S.,” says Yando, “and their positive response has provided overwhelming evidence we are on the right track!”
Mr. Duey and Andrew Yando partnered with Universal Records and had the “Class Dis-Missed” album mixed and mastered by Vlado Meller, the same engineer who worked on Kanye West, Run DMC, Lil BowWow, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica albums.
Mr. Duey and Yando are partnering with Extreme Teaching for Extreme Times to promote the use of innovative teaching methods in America. As a result, for every sale of Mr. Duey’s CD a portion will go to this organization to buy learning games and puzzles for needy families.
Mr. Duey wroote all the lyrics and music in “Class Dis-Missed” which was produced by Kaas Records LLC, Farmington Hills, MI. The CD sells for $13.95 and is available at: www.mrduey.com or on iTunes.
About Mr. Duey:
Mr. Duey, a 7th grade Math teacher at Adams Middle School (Westland, MI), holds a teaching degree from Eastern Michigan University and is certified in math and science education. He is the recipient of the Greatest Teacher Award (from his students). A rap musician, Mr. Duey has cut three solo rap albums and was previously signed to a small indie label in Detroit. He has joined with longtime friend and music producer Andrew Yando to write and produce educational rap music to advance the learning skills of elementary students. Go to www.mrduey.com to preview songs from “Class Dis-Missed” or for more information on Mr. Duey and Andrew Yando, including testimonials.
The Kaas Agency
Here’s What Educators and Students are Saying about Mr. Duey’s music:
“Mr. Duey and Andrew Yando are exceptionally talented men who have created rap curriculum that I believe will transform our schools. Their authentic hip-hop beats and lyrics reach and teach a multiplicity of our nation’s youth. Rap “Mr. Duey” style meets both the emotional and academic needs and teaches to the hearts and minds of our youth. Here’s the equation: Mr. Duey + Teacher Willingness = Student Success.”
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson
Professor Teacher Education
Eastern Michigan University
“I recently gave a linear function test to my 7th grade students after the students had listened to, and learned the “Point Plotting Rap.” To my amusement, as the students took the test, I could see them bouncing to the beat of the rap. I could not wait to check their answers to the test questions. The scores improved by 15 points over the same test a year ago. I am a believer in the power of rap.”
Math Department Chair
Southgate Gerisch Middle School
“Mr. Duey’s songs sound musically relevant and, when combined with the worksheets, they create what could be a very innovative teaching tool. Over the years I have heard many attempts at using music to trick kids into learning. I have never heard any raps that sound so current and “real” that kids bob their heads, rather than roll their eyes. Getting students excited about learning is half the battle. However, when they are so excited about the method that they forget they are doing work, the battle is already won.”
Sam G. Childs
Southgate Gerisch Middle School
“I am not surprised by Mr. Duey’s ability to relate to his students because I have heard his CD. He has created a CD that explains some math concepts. It is set to rap music, an oxymoron if one every existed. I don’t even like rap and yet found myself tapping my foot. Like Samuel Coleridge said, ‘The ability to think outside the box allows you inside their minds.”
Southfield Gerisch Middle School
“It is nice to see a kids educational CD which is cool and hip to listen to and at the same time have a learning experience while he or she are tapping their feet. It is one of the best learning/entertaining CD’s out there.”
Senior Mastering Engineer
Universal Mastering Studios New York
The Kaas Agency
Biography of Mr. Duey
(D.J.) Duey aka ‘Mr. Duey’
Using rap as a learning tool comes easy for Mr. Duey because he has studied the art of hip-hop and learned the history of rap music from its early beginnings to the present. As a musician, Mr. Duey has performed at house parties, mid-sized venues, and has competed in rap battles with some of the most elite rappers in the Midwest. He released three solo rap albums from 2000-2004 and was signed to an indie label in Detroit after his third release, “Faze 1.”
Mr. Duey studied education at Central Michigan University where he continued to write and record rap and earned a Bachelor in Education from Eastern Michigan University. He is state certified in elementary math and science. After marrying high school sweetheart Gina, also a teacher, and having a son named Dominic, Mr. Duey was hired as a 6th grade math teacher by Southgate Public Schools, Southgate MI.
After Mr. Duey’s longtime friend Andrew Yando, music producer and record label owner, moved back to Detroit from Los Angeles, Mr. Duey and Yando joined efforts to produce hip-hop beats for local talent. Mr. Duey started to have a vision of designing songs that would not only be relevant to the hip-hop’s current times, but make it educational as well. Mr. Duey and Yando met with dozens of teachers at Southgate Gerisch Middle School to research what were the most difficult subjects to teach, and why.
After following educational guidelines needed to pass required elementary tests, Mr. Duey and Yando started producing all the original music and lyrics on “Class Dis-Missed” in the Kaas Records Studios. It was later mixed at the award winning Temper Mill Studios, before being sent off to Universal Records in New York City to be mixed and mastered by Grammy Winning Sound Engineer Vlado Meller (Who also mixed, Kanye West, Run DMC, Lil BowWow, Weezer, Chili Peppers, Josh Groban, Metallica,). In late 2007 Mr. Duey was signed to a three year recording deal with Kaas Records, LLC. Farmington Hills, MI.
Media Contact: Andrew Yando – The Kaas Agency O: 866.981.5009 C: 248.217.9415 firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested Media Questions for Mr. Duey
1. Do all your learning CDs use rap or do some have other forms of music?
2. Is your teaching degree for elementary or secondary grades?
3. Tell me about Kass Records.
4. What is your music background?
5. What is your role in this venture?
6. What ended up being the most difficult subjects based on your research at Gerisch Middle?
7. How well does the repetition used in rap relate to repetition used in learning?
8. Why is singing such a strong learning tool?
9. Would you say Sesame Street was a pioneer in using music as a learning tool?
10. Why hasn’t someone started producing learning CDs like yours years ago?
11. Does rap music have as strong an appeal in the suburbs as it does in urban cities?
12. Do you use rap songs in your classrooms? When did you first start doing this?
13. How have your students responded to your rap learning songs?
14. Do you have any evidence that other students have done better after using your CDs?
15. What do you want teachers and principals to understand about your music?
16. What do you want parents to understand about your music?
17. Kids are pretty tech-savvy. Can they download your CDs and transfer to iPods to listen to wherever they are?
18. How are your sales going so far?
19. On your web site I see a testimonial from a Dr. Johnson who is really positive about your CDs. What are her credentials?
20. Tell me about your videos?
21. How many CDs have you produced to date and what are your goals within the next one to three years?
Media Contact: Andrew Yando – The Kaas Agency O: 866.981.5009 C: 248.277.2042 email@example.com
You’ve Gotta Reach ‘Em to Teach ‘Em – Educational Hip-Hop Can Do It
By Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Ed D
Associate Professor of Teacher Education
The lifespan of any educational reform should never be longer than a single generation because whenever a new generation discovers itself educators must truly reinvent the wheel and adapt to the new lifestyle and all of its trappings.
While most educators instinctively agree that change is always fluid too many of us have to be dragged kicking and screaming instead of embracing the next reform as being just as necessary as all previous adjustments, revisions, and revolutions. And that’s exactly what’s happening in the current hesitation among educational leaders to warmly embrace the use of hip-hop music as a learning tool for today’s students.
Conservative reaction to change is a healthy brake to prevent us from chasing willy-nilly after every new idea that bubbles up to the surface. But, when it comes to employing rap music in our curriculums we are long past braking and should be accelerating. Those who have experimented with the rap beat and hip-hop lyrics in the classroom have experienced such success that we now have sufficient anecdotal evidence to embrace this change. And there is also sufficient quantitative and qualitative supportive data that we can move into the rap arena with comfort.
One of the early entries into this field was Dr. Nichole Pinkard of the University of Michigan, author of “Learning to Read in Culturally Responsive Computer Environments,” who developed the Rappin’ Reader computer-based learning environment in 1996. Rappin’ Reader has experienced success by having students write their own lyrics to familiar rap music.
In more general terms, the Harvard Graduate School of Education with its Project Zero research is examining the role of the arts in learning with the goal of creating learning experiences that are engaging and exciting for children. Researchers have closely examined the effectiveness of dance as a learning medium and so they can’t be that far from discovering rap as an exciting, engaging learning model. Right?
Of more recent vintage a Hip-Hop Studies Working Group at the University of California, Berkley, are turning toward the hip-hop culture in academic disciplines ranging from sociology to law, ethnomusicology to history, and education to African-American studies. In the forefront of this new generation of hip-hop scholars is Kofe-Charu Nat Turner who has taught and studied in Ghana and Japan. “Hip-hop is the primary language students bring with them to school,” says Turner. “To ignore the language and the existence of hip-hop culture altogether is a failure to provide equal education under the law.” Another member of this group, Erinn Ransom, comments: “Using hip-hop in the curriculum will help bridge the divide between the ‘academic’ and the ‘real world.’ It can ground theories that may seem to pertain only to dead European thinkers with what is happening here today.”
Frankly, my own findings from working with Native American reservation schools is more akin to Turner, Ransom and their group than to the more traditional and classical ilk like James B. Conant and Howard Gardner that represents Harvard so well. Children in our reservation communities are so swamped by failure and illiteracy that they are committing suicide in record numbers. On the reservations we don’t worry about No Child Left Behind because they are killing themselves – 43 in 2005. But like America’s other children in the urban centers and white suburbia, Native American children are deeply enmeshed in hip-hop. I introduced them to hip-hop music with educational lyrics and they responded immediately. It is amazing.
There is a teacher in Southgate Public Schools in the downriver area of Metro Detroit who has also had great success in engaging students using educational rap or educational hip-hop. Mr. Duey (www.mrduey.com ), also a rap musician, has cut a CD of educational hip-hop for his students and shared it with other teachers with amazing results.
As an associate professor of teacher education at Eastern Michigan University, I have introduced many, many children to educational hip-hop and have watched with amazement as they learn mathematical, grammatical and science concepts previously far beyond their grasp. I can cite several instances where standardized test scores have increased 10 percent or more for students introduced to educational rap. I believe!
Since 1986, because of the No Child Left Behind initiative, I have traveled all over the United States as a consultant at Indian reservations, exclusive prep schools, and more recently to the North Central Accreditation Association. America has been battling to win the hearts and minds of students and we are losing the battle. In recent years I have been working with Kathy Walsh in using pop culture items such as hoola hoops and silly string spray and other things kids are into when not in school. We set up two control groups, one in which rap music was played and the other where it was not and there was a significant achievement gain in the rap music group.
At educational conferences I present on educational hip-hop and regularly have 200 or more educators attending my “You’ve Gotta Reach ‘Em to Teach ‘Em” sessions while other sessions down the hall draw 20-30 attendees. This shows that teachers are hungry for the truth and are hungry to understand human frailty and how to offer hope and success to our children.
During my childhood the educational reform of the moment did not come from Harvard or Yale but from Public Television. Millions of children sat spellbound every day with eyes and ears glued to Sesame Street. Repetition was the tool used and music was the means employed to deliver repetition. Remember, “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is just not the same?” The success of Sesame Street in teaching preschoolers and preparing them for school was obvious – far too obvious to the curriculum leaders of that time. The keys were repetition and incorporating learning material into tunes kids loved.
And isn’t this exactly the same powerful force, 50 years later, that rap music brings to the table? Without repetition, rap would not be rap. So all we have to do is lay out our learning objectives, write words that fuel those objectives, and match the words with the hip-hop beat and we are sliding into home plate!
Some of my students know me as The Grandma of Bad Rap. I write my own rap and sing it in class and students LOL which is great because we just connected and while they are laughing I am taking giant steps over a bridge so I am close enough to touch them. For more than 35 years now I have been a classroom teacher, administrator, counselor, coach, professor of teacher education, and consultant. But today I take more pride in being a Bad Rapper.
As we measure the success of No Child Left Behind we must not only concern ourselves with how many are left behind but who are left behind and why. But is it really the children who are left behind? For today’s generation those who do not embrace educational hip-hop are truly the ones left behind – not the kids. We should have adapted hip-hop into our curriculum yesterday but there is still time and still opportunity. And to end on a silly note, when you add ‘e’ for education to “hop” we are left with hope!
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, Ed D, is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education, Eastern Michigan University, with an expertise in instruction and urban education. She is President of Extreme Teaching for Extreme Times! LLC. Dr. Johnson has been a contributing author on many projects, including Barbara Bush’s test “Education and the Family” and “Teaching to the Heart of the Child.” Awards received include People Magazine’s “Above & Beyond International Service Award”, the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, and Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Dr. Johnson is the co-author of We’ve Gotta Reach ‘Em to ‘Em: Where Teaching Intersects the Human Condition. The book is available at www.extreme-teaching.com She can be reached by email: ejohnson at emich.edu.
New album, Class Dis-Missed Vol 2. Coming Soon!
The Kaas Agency
23) Summary: The COOLEST for back to school