Feedback and Press

Educators, Administrators & Media are saying....

• Dr. Jackie Vogel, program chair for NCTM 2009 Regional Conference where I did the opening plenary keynote: “his session was a perfect connection to the annual theme [‘connections – linking concepts and context’]. Larry’s show was high energy and had a nice entertainment and mathematical content. The ballroom was completely packed. The mathematical content was varied enough to appeal to all levels: elementary through college mathematics.” 

• Dr. Jim Tattersall, MAA Associate Secretary: “terrific performance at the MathFest Opening Banquet in Madison, Wisconsin this summer.  The 365 attendees were thrilled with your musical expertise.  At the end of your program, they showed their appreciation by giving you a standing ovation.  It was a great way to start our 2008 summer meeting.  The mathematical community is fortunate to have such a talented person as you.” 

• Dr. Marjorie Lewkowicz, 2004 Georgia Perimeter College Mathematics Conference Program Committee:  “Your performance was outstanding and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Your contribution helped make the conference a great success.”

• Marc Furigay, Creator/Founder of Classroom Jams Productions (featured on 2009’s Episode 2 of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’):  “Seems you’ve really gotten your stuff out there. I dig your clever lyrics. Thanks for helping people understand how powerful music is as a teaching tool.” 

• Rich Zucker, 2004 California Math Council Community Colleges South conference Program Committee: “Thank you for a wonderful evening!”

2006 GEPCTM Conference Chair Lori Correll:  “Thank you for a great start to our conference”  

From the March 31, 2002 Herald Sun (based in Melbourne and Victoria, it’s Australia’s largest-selling newspaper!):  
"Lesser has discovered the secret to fostering a love for mathematics in his students.... Dr. Lesser won't whack his precious words into any old song.  He chooses his songs lovingly..."

• From the editorial (p. 66) in the Autumn 2001 Teaching Statistics:
"[Lesser's article in this issue] ranges far and wide, and is full of ideas that might help to stimulate your pupils and students to take a deeper interest in statistics.  The message that comes over to me is that it is truly amazing where statistics turns up, and it is also truly amazing to see the breadth of serious other interests that statisticians have."

• From the editorial (p. 2) in the Winter 2002 issue of the American Statistical Association's magazine STATS:
"[Lesser] has penned (and performed) several clever and entertaining lyrics based on popular tunes that deal with statistics issues.
Be forewarned, reader -- you may find yourself singing those songs as you read them."

• From the Aug/Sept. 2000 Focus (Mathematical Association of America's national newsletter):
"...the most mathematical songwriter since Tom Lehrer"

 • Dr. Dane R. Camp, an Illinois high school mathematics teacher who has led national and statewide “math-song sing-alongs” and chaired the Mathematics Teacher Editorial Panel, wrote:
"I am always impressed at how much research you put into your [math and music] articles.  They are not fluff, by any means.  As a former college DJ, I found the references to pop music very interesting."

• From a featured 2001 "Math News" item at StudyWorks! Online, a resource of MathSoft Engineering and Education, Inc. :
"Lesser teaches mathematics using songs, adding life to a subject people sometimes expect to be lifeless....
[Lesser] has a talent for combining music and technical material."

• Sue Rarus, the Manager of Information Services at the National Association for Music Education, wrote:
"Very very clever and very interesting!   I wish they'd had something like this when I was learning my algebra! We will keep the website reference in our file of interdisciplinary curriculum, and refer callers to it when we get a request along those lines."

• Alan O'Day, songwriter who's had #1 radio hits as well as written for National Geographic Children's videos, etc., wrote: 
"I am impressed.  Having always approached music from a decidedly UN-mathematical perspective, I think it's great that you have made this unique whimsical approach work so well."

 • John Chase, middle school teacher and co-founder of M.U.S.I.C. (Musicians United for Songs In the Classroom, a nonprofit national organization promoting the educational use of popular songs by teachers in all subject areas), wrote:
"I have created a link to your excellent web site from the 'Classroom Strategies and Resources' section of our web site.....I have added 'American Pi', 'Fifty Ways to Work a Problem' and 'The Way I Learn Best' to our Song Directory." [Note:  Those 3 lyrics have also been republished by M.U.S.I.C. with permission in the 2nd edition (2001) of its sourcebook  Learning with Lyrics]

 • Jessica Baron Turner, founder of Guitars in the Classroom (a non-profit grant program bringing music with guitars into the elementary school classroom) wrote:
"We are in complete agreement about ways to work math and music together....I'd love to share your work with the teachers at our pilot schools.  I've already referred all the facilitators to your [web]site."

• Linda Oliver, 2000 Chatham County (GA) "Teacher of the Year," wrote:
"Dr. Lesser was a master at grabbing and holding their [4th-graders'] attention by using music and magic.  He brought in several instruments and used them to make connections between mathematics and music or sang a tune about some mathematical concept."

• Arlene Hansen, assistant director of University of Northern Colorado's Sponsored Programs & Academic Research Center, wrote:
 “What a great idea for teaching math!  If I had had something like this, maybe I’d be an engineer today....”

• Evelyn Aimar, 1993 Chatham County (GA) "Teacher of the Year," wrote:  
"I shared your [fractions and music] lesson with Mr. Patricio and he told me today that he had tried it with fifth graders and it worked well.  See what an impact you are having on Hesse Elementary students."

• From the October 12, 2000 Savannah Morning News:
"He has synthesized his two main interests into an innovative, hands-on approach to teaching mathematics"

• Written comments from in-service teachers attending recent workshops:
“What a powerful idea for any math classroom!”
“Your presentation on pitch and length of guitar strings stimulated my interest.”
“Would love to be able to sing these with my students.”
"I enjoyed the talk and plan to use it to some degree in several classes.  I am excited to have a fresh, new idea."
"I was so inspired, I'm thinking of taking up playing guitar again.  Thanks again for a FUN workshop."
"This is a great idea and you have some really clever songs.  There was a nice variety of activities besides the songs."
"Thanks for thinking and teaching 'out of the box'! "
"Great! I love to sing and have been looking for ways to include that talent into my teaching."
"I liked the fact you talked about not needing talent"

• Linda Nash, 2000 program chair for Georgia's annual conference of mathematics teachers, wrote a week after my keynote:
"I really had a great time ... thanks mainly to folks like you who made it all come together.  I'm still humming some of your tunes."   

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