Ask any preschool teacher about good music for children and you will learn that there are few children's classics. After all, where do you find an accomplished musician who is also an experienced preschool teacher with years of classroom experience? Is there such a person?Happily, the answer is yes! Frank Leto is a Montessori educator and music specialist with tremendous sensitivity to the needs of young children and a hand-crafted approach to early-childhood music education.
He is a professional musician, Orff music teacher and steel band composer and director who brilliantly combines his skills as both teacher and musician to create a sound that your children will love! Frank also travels to schools sharing his unique "Method to Music" in teacher training workshops around the world.
Frank's music for children is exceptionally popular with both preschool teachers and parents. His original music is designed to encourage children's participation through singing, dancing, fingerplays and games. Most of Frank's songs are sung in call and response, where Frank sings first and then the children echo him. The lyrics give direction to the games, dances and finger plays which make his music so irresistible to children.
Frank's children's music has won national awards. He currently has 11 children's albums with educational, interactive and multicultural music. His Kids Will Be Kids DVD series, which invites children at home to participate through song, dance and physical exercise, is endorsed by the Coalition for Quality Children's Entertainment.
MUSIC SPECIALIST & MONTESSORI EDUCATOR
Frank Leto became Montessori certified in 1975. He has been in the Montessori classroom ever since and has over 40 years of early-childhood classroom experience. Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy on education inspired Frank to develop an approach to music education utilizing those same philosophies. In 1980, Frank, who was already an established professional musician and composer, combined his classroom experience and his knowledge of music, and started writing his own music for preschool children.
Frank Leto's "Method to Music" book shares his unique handcrafted approach to music education. He teaches the mechanics of music through an ongoing series of games and exercises that utilize solfeggio, hand bells, rhythmic notation and rhythm band instruments in a fun and educational way. This curriculum is designed for non-musicians with hopes that readers will enthusiastically return to their classroom or home with advanced skills and a new sense of confidence with which to enrich children’s musical environment.
Frank also presents a fun and informative lecture demonstration, called "The Roots of Jazz," which traces American jazz music from Africa through the Caribbean and Brazil. It is performed for elementary students at public schools throughout Albuquerque every year.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER & PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN
Frank Leto travels the nation extensively, presenting keynote speeches and workshops at such educational conferences as the Music Educators Association, the Association for the Education for Young Children, the Orff Schulwerk Association and the American Montessori Society to name a few.
Frank's clinics promote his own approach to imparting the love of music on to children. His interactive workshops for teachers are designed for non-musicians. In the course of a single workshop, attendees are singing, dancing and playing instruments with a new sense of confidence. With newly learned skills they enthusiastically return to the classroom and enrich the children's musical environment.
Frank Leto is a multidimensional artist who has found a balance between professional musician and professional educator. His lifelong pursuit of musical knowledge has led him to appreciate the music of many cultures. Frank's talent as a composer has allowed him to share this love for music with his peers, students and community.
Frank is a talented instrumentalist who plays Brazilian percussion, Afro-Cuban percussion and Trinidadian Steel Drums. Frank's band PANdemonium, features Frank on vocals, steel drums and percussion. He writes all the music for the band which blends musical styles like reggae, ska, soca, calypso, samba, salsa and zouk into his own unique sound. PANdemonium has recorded three World Music CDs.
Frank was the first recipient of the Creative Bravos LEGACY award alongside his wife, Pilar Leto, in 2018.
"Hi Frank, I went to a workshop you ran in Orlando. I thought it was the best workshop I have attended in years...I wanted you to know that I have included your rhythm concepts into all of my programs...This year I purchased your Steel Band Jamboree and love it just as much. You are the best thing I have found, right up there with chocolate...Thanks for giving me exciting new material."