High School Musical Rockin Dance Party!

Everyone is a a Star at a High School Musical Dance Party! With the 3rd installment of the HSM series coming late in summer 2008 this event is sure to be a huge hit! Invitations: Purchase the matching theme invitations or make your own tickets or backstage passes by visiting says-it.com and choosing the template for “concert tickets.” Its totally free and super easy! Fill out what you want the ticket or pass to say, download, save and then print out as many copies as you need. Simple! I created a pretend invite on the right hand side so you can see what they look like.

There are several shapes, colours and designs to choose from. Use phrases like “Backstage Access”,”VIP Only” and “Admit One.” The tickets would look great on card stock and the passes would look great on regular paper, laminated and hole punched with a lanyard or string attached. The kids can wear them to the party! Decorations: Create a scene right out of a High School Dance. Use plenty of red & white balloons and streamers. Try to get yourself a disco ball and some strobe lights to really set the mood for dancing! Using the name of each and every guest, make large yellow or foil stars with their name written in it. Take those stars and make a wall of fame by mixing the “guest stars” in with pictures and posters of the actors and actresses from the High School Musical movies. Hang stars, Cd’s, records, pom poms, garland and pennants from the ceiling with fishing wire. Don’t forget to pull out your Christmas lights and hang them all over your walls. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a DJ – O.k, that’s a bit much but make sure you have good stereo on hand with a huge selection of HSM music and popular top 40 cd’s. Activities: A dance lesson would be great.

Call you local Dance Studio and see if they have a student that would be willing to come the party and teach a short routine from the movie. Games: “Name That Tune” – Play short clips from the soundtrack and popular top 40 songs. Have the guest try to name the tune and if they can, they get 1 token. If they can sing the next line they will win an additional token. I will explain the tokens in a bit so stay with me. “Who said It” – Before the party, write down several lines from the movie and the character that said it. On separate slips of paper, write 1 line only (not who said it) and place in a hat or basket. Take turns by passing the hat around and having each guest choose a piece of paper and reading the quote out loud. They then have a chance to guess. If they are correct they win a token. “Hoop Toss” – The HSM kids love their East High Wildcats Basketball Team so be sure to add a b-ball activity. Why not set up a hoop toss. You can use an indoor ball and net or make your own with a wastebasket and any ball you have on hand. Every player gets 10 shots and 1 token is awarded for every basket made. The kids will really want to know what these tokens are for by now! To start the dancing portion, play a few rounds of dance freeze and have some spot dances. “Dance Freeze” is when you abruptly stop the music and the dancers must immediately freeze in whatever posoitiion they are in. If they can hold their position they are awarded 1 token. “Spot” dances is simply when you choose a certain spot in the room and whoever is closest to that spot at the end of the song wins – 1 token. Make sure you keep a running list of all the tokens awarded.

Start off each child with 10 tokens and add on from there. The Menu: A cafeteria line of course! Borrow some plastic trays from your local fast food joint and let the kids line up single file and choose their meal. Have individual servings of hamburgers & hot dogs wrapped in foil, mini pizzas, fries in baskets, salads in cups and a selection of sodas, juice boxes and milks in those small containers. Make a “Cafeteria” sign and provide the lunch lady with a hairnet! Finally we get to the tokens! Switch out the “Cafeteria” sign for an “HSM Concession Stand” sign. During the last half hour of the party set up your concession stand. The Concession stand should consist of items that you would put in their loot bags like bags of chips, candies, chocolate bars, pop, cookies & gum, tattoos, glow sticks, hackey sacks, microphones, key chains, pencils, erasers, costume jewelry and licensed HSM favors. The key is to have a wide assortment of different items as all kids will not choose the same things. In this situation it would be safer to over buy and then return items if you do not use them. Give each child their allotted tokens and a paper lunch bag or a licensed HSM loot bag to fill.

The tokens can be bingo markers, play coins, paper tickets, pennies or buttons for that matter! Have a token board with the items listed for sale and their cost in tokens for the kids to see. The more costly the item, the more tokens they cost. For example, an eraser is 1 token, a pack of bubblegum is 2 tokens and a microphone is 3 tokens. To be fair, have them line up by the amount of the tokens they won – for example the lowest to highest. Have each child in turn buy 1 item and then return to the back of the line. Keep going until all the tokens have run out. This takes a bit of planning but provides a very exciting element to the party! The kids take home things they actually want and will use – not just forget about and throw away!

Music Industry Insider: Tess Taylor of NARIP and LAMN

Members of LAMN (founded in 1988) and NARIP (founded in 1998), are able to more quickly gain the insight, knowledge, and contact information they need for career development and career enhancement.

The success of both organizations extends well beyond their names – both LAMN and NARIP have members across the country and around the globe. Offices have opened in Canada, New York, and London, with additional cities getting in line.

Prior to Taylor’s development of these influential organizations, there was no formal entity that addressed the educational, networking, or mentoring functions necessary to nurture a new generation for the music industry. Each of these factors is important, but there is no doubt which one Taylor values most: “Networking is what this business – all business, really – is about,” she states. “If you want to get ahead, you’ve got to know people. You can be a genius but remain entrenched in obscurity and poverty unless you get out there and let people know who you are.”


LAMN is a multifaceted resource for newcomers to the music business, as well as an avenue for students to learn more about the industry and how they might break into it. LAMN sponsors industry gatherings, workshops and seminars with top executives from all areas of the music business.


To qualify to become a member of NARIP, you must be a professional in the record industry. “I realized that, beyond organizations like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) which is a lobbying body that focuses on legislation, there wasn’t an organization that served the needs of those whose careers are completely in the record industry,” Taylor stated.

The Beginnings.

“The idea for the Los Angeles Music Network goes back to my first job in the business, with Avalon Attractions, a big concert promoter in Southern California,” says Taylor. “Every spoke of the music industry wheel comes together to make a concert happen. Here I was, fresh out of college, and I had access to just about every possible type of professional – from radio to press to record company personnel, from artist managers to the artists themselves.”

Taylor looked around for an association through which she could meet the people she interacted with on the phone. “I was very surprised not to find anything of real value, so I started putting together little meet-and-greets among the people I was dealing with,” she says. “At first, there were only about three or four of us, but it grew. That was the seed that led to my building the professional relationships I have today, not to mention the Job Bank and my mailing list. It’s the best in the business.”

Some of what LAMN and NARIP do overlaps, and Taylor regularly employs NARIP members for LAMN panels and other functions, and to mentor LAMN members. However, she is keen to provide the right kind of experiences for each group.

For NARIP members, her approach is to take on a continuing-education role. “We should never stop learning and, no matter how much experience we may have, there’s always something else or another point of view that we can absorb and appreciate,” Taylor says.


A classically-trained pianist, Taylor is also is an instructor, music business lecturer and speaker at institutions such as the Harvard Business School, New York University, the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum, Berklee College of Music, University of California Los Angeles (Entertainment Studies & Performing Arts), University of Southern California, Academy of Contemporary Music (Guildford, London), California State University at Chico, Middle Tennessee State University, Music and Entertainment Industry Educator’s Association International Symposium (2000 and 2002), University of Hawaii, California State University at Pomona, the Pepperdine University School of Business and others. A popular guest speaker and participant in industry conferences internationally, she served as Conference Chair for Musicom4, a music technology symposium (1998), and as keynote speaker for Berklee College of Music Summer Conference (2003)

She is a consultant to InsideSessions, a joint venture between the Universal Music Group and Penguin Putnam, and sits on numerous international charity and industry boards of directors. She is a frequent talent judge at US and international talent competitions and has recently participated on panels for Universal Talent Prague (Czech Republic 2003) and for the Golden Magnolia International Song Festival (Baton Rouge 2003).

As a writer and contributor, her analyses have appeared recently in Billboard Magazine, Radio & Records, USA Today, Newsweek, Source Magazine, the Chicago Sun Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, Daily Variety, Musician Magazine, Wired, Lip Service Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and wire services such as Reuters Ltd., and in international business press (Capital Magazine [Spain], Challenges / Le Nouvel Observateur [France]). She has been a featured expert on National Public Radio’s “Hollywood Wrap,” the Fox News Channel, Samm Brown’s “For The Record” on KPFK 90.7-FM, Ira Fistell’s talk radio program on KRLA 1110-AM and in other news media.


Tess Taylor can be reached at (818) 769-7007 or via email at [email protected].

Bags For The Summer

With the spring and summer seasons fast approaching there are many activities which are going to become available due to the higher temperatures, the end of school and university terms. Activities such as music festivals, summer holidays, camping and getting ready to move out to University or abroad travelling are becoming part of life for students and young adults. All of these activities require travelling, organisation and packing.

To help with these summer activities you are going to need a bag to carry your belongings. There are many different types of bags you can have to help create a more enjoyable experience during your summer. You can get a rucksack, a satchel, a messenger bag, laptop bag, holdall, tote bag, drawstring bags as well as handmade recycled vintage bags. Choosing the type of bag for the activity can be tricky, with all types of bags having their benefits, as well as drawbacks.

For music festivals it would probably be best to use a rucksack, satchel or holdall to carry your belongings to the festival, as well as carrying things around the festival such as mobile phones, cameras and your wallet. If you wanted to look stylish at a festival, you could also buy a handmade recycled vintage bag, allowing you to fit in with the crowd, as well as being individualistic. Buying these sorts of bags allows you to put across your personality through a bag, whilst also being green and environmentally friendly.

For your summer holidays it may be beneficial to take a satchel for all of your belongings to carry around the town or on the beach, as well as having a rucksack, holdall or messenger bag to carry around more of your private properties.

There are many places that you can buy bags from. You can buy from retailers in the high street, either a branded shop or a department store, or even supermarkets. With the internet now so proficient in the world, and so many people using it every day, you have a better selection of bags on the internet, with many online shops offering unique bag designs, as well as retro and vintage looks.

You can use the internet to buy so much, and it is the best bet to find a bag for your needs. You can compare different styles, prices and stores via the internet, saving you time searching the high street for your perfect bag, and guaranteeing yourself the best price.