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A little company with big dreams,

specializing in multicultural, bilingual, ESL, and SSL sound recordings with books


HIGH HAVEN MUSIC Recordings and Books


Background and History of HIGH HAVEN MUSIC and its founder, Sarah Barchas


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Sarah Barchas                    Background               The Folkways Years



Don't Miss Sarah Barchas' Public Appearances

Currently Sarah Barchas is working with the Friends of Brown Canyon Ranch and the Western Heritage Program to bring Arizona's music, history and culture to students in Southern Arizona both in the schools and at Brown Canyon Ranch (The subject of her song “This Old House”.). Every year Brown Canyon Ranch (BCR) holds an open house to bring the same experience to the public. She can also be seen at music festivals in Arizona, such as the free Glendale Folk and Heritage Festival in March. Festival details can be found at http://www.glendaleaz.com/srpha/index.cfm#Happenings.



Please note: MP3s of individual songs and complete albums can be downloaded from iTunes, Amazon.com, CD Baby, and other music sites.

Smithsonian Folkways has released songs from Sarah Barchas' Folkways recordings for electronic download. For details see "The Folkways Years"



THE HIGH HAVEN MUSIC MISSION STATEMENT - learning with song, learning with joy

High Haven Music is a dynamic company with a mission to provide quality sound recordings with books for multicultural, bilingual, ESL, and SSL needs in schools, libraries, and for family enjoyment. High Haven Music is an active company with commitment to bring joy to learning by expanding language, concepts, and cultural awareness through song and storytelling.

Song and storytelling are the most natural vehicles of language and communication with universal appeal across all ages and cultures to make learning come alive, evoking sharing, participation, and fun. Song and storytelling stretch the mind and touch the heart, providing exciting intellectual stimulus and a broad spectrum of emotions bringing delight. Song and storytelling reflect distinct aspects of culture, and at the same time transcend culture in their universality. Song is such a natural and intrinsically enjoyable way to learn and reinforce language, children do not even realize they are learning. It is "learning with song, learning with joy" that is the aim of High Haven Music.


Although High Haven Music holds copyrights to songs written much earlier, the first recording released on the High Haven Music label was "İPIÑATA! - Bilingual Songs for Children" (HHM 101C), which was released in 1991. The words and music for all 14 of the songs were written by Sarah Barchas. This has been replaced with "İPIÑATA! AND MORE" - Bilingual Songs for Children in 1997 (see Products).

All High Haven Music recordings are available on CD. They are accompanied by books that provide the lyrics and, often, much more. These books are in addition to the information contained in the CD cases. The breakthrough recording "BRIDGES across the WORLD", released in 1999, includes a book that can be used as a reference. Subtitled "A Multicultural Songfest", the recording features twelve languages. The book includes a language appendix that contains a brief description of each language as well as a few common words and expressions in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. No, you won't need to learn new characters. Everything is phonetic. The book also provides suggestions for twelve activities that can help you work with languages and a multilingual bibliography.



Sarah Barchas has over 33 years of experience as an educator, school librarian, storyteller, publisher, and singer-songwriter. She has earned and received a B.A. in music, an M.ED in Elementary Education, and a PhD in reading. She has written books for young children, including "I was walking Down the Road", which was published in both English and Spanish by Scholastic, Inc., and has taught a university course in Storytelling.

"Sarah Barchas is one of the most talented storytellers that I have had the privilege to hear in my 16 years with SAM. Simply with body language and voice inflection, she has that unique ability to draw her audience, no matter their age, into whatever story she spins. If a good storyteller is worth her weight in gold, then Sarah Barchas is worth her weight in platinum. … Storytelling is an age old art form. Artists like Sarah Barchas are why we can still experience the exquisite delight of the spoken word." - Maxine Jewett, President of the Southwest Acoustic Music Association and publisher of the "Acoustic Scene".

The Folkways Years

Although Sarah Barchas began writing songs earlier than that, her first album of recorded music for children was released in 1979 on Folkways Records. Entitled "EVERYONE HAS FEELINGS and other songs" (Folkways Album # FC 7567), it was an early indication of her concern about multicultural issues before they became popular, as well as a strong statement of her love for children and animals.

Her second album on Folkways, released in 1980, was entitled "IN THIS OUR LAND - SONGS ABOUT AMERICA" (Folkways Album # FC 7590). In the introduction to that album she indicates, in describing the people of America, "We are very much a heterogeneous, multi-faceted people, differing in ethnic group, religion, background, culture, and belief, yet reaching toward common goals, common aspirations. Each group has made important contributions. Each individual can be a resource to others."

Her third album on Folkways, released in 1981, was entitled "A QUITE REMARKABLE SNOWMAN - Activity Songs for Young Children" (Folkways Album # FC 7568). In the introduction to that album she points out "When children can associate learning with enjoyment through activity and spontaneous involvement, they will continue to want to learn, to share, to explore and enjoy together." What better way is there than through song, which not only provides a vehicle for children to learn, share, and explore together, but also transcends cultural and language barriers?

Please note that Folkways Records is now part of the Smithsonian Institution and is now called Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.  Songs from all three of Sarah Barchas' Folkways albums have been made available individual, as albums or as custom CDs from Smithsonian Global Sound as follows:

Songs from "Everyone Has Feelings and Other Children's Songs", released in 1979 on Folkways FW 7567, with sound samples, can be found at www.smithsonianglobalsound.org/containerdetail.asp?itemid=1331

Songs from "In This Our Land:Songs about America", released in 1980 on Folkways FW 7590, with sound samples, can be found at http://www.smithsonianglobalsound.org/containerdetail.asp?itemid=1339

Songs from "A Quite Remarkable Snowman: Activity Songs for Young Children", released in 1981 on Folkways FW 7568, with sound samples, can be found at www.smithsonianglobalsound.org/containerdetail.asp?itemid=1332

While some of the songs have been re-recorded in her later releases on the High Haven Music label, they were not the same versions and do not duplicate the originals.



Why include books with all the sound recordings of songs? The books provide a wonderful opportunity to read-along as children sing-along. The books add to the fun and enjoyment of the music and at the same time combine with the sound recording to reinforce language learning, vocabulary, the flow of language syntax, concepts and meanings, and reinforce reading skills. The combination of cassettes or CD's with read-along, sing-along books is a powerful and enticing tool and avenue to literacy and language learning and fluency for children, and also for adults learning a new language.


İPIÑATA!: Bilingual Songs for Children - Sarah Barchas - HHM 101C – Released originally in 1991, this is High Haven Music's first release. It was replaced in 1997 by an enhanced version - "İPIÑATA! AND MORE!: Bilingual Songs for Children" (see below).

 JUST A HANDFUL: Poems of Rare and Endangered Wildlife - by Elizabeth Barchas

Released in November of 1995, this recording is a distinctive and powerful collection of eight original poems and original piano music written and performed by a multi-talented teenager with keen concern for wildlife and ecology. This work is an inspiration to other youth for creative writing, science/environmental awareness, and wildlife preservation, as well as art and music. Includes poetry book written and illustrated by poet, and printed on recycled paper. Intended for ages 10 to adult, this 22 minute recording is accompanied by a 24 page illustrated poetry book. Its rich descriptive language and imagery could be used for more advanced ESL. 11 minutes are repeated on the second side.

THIS OLD MAN / ESTE VIEJITO: Singing your way to English and Spanish; learning with song, Learning with joy! - Performed by Sarah Barchas and the De Colores Chorus. Spanish adaptation by Sarah Barchas, Marilyn McClure, and Anne Doan Woolfolk

Released in February, 1997, this is a bilingual individual song/book package. The traditional English folksong, "This Old Man", is shared in a format of a slow song, a robust chant, and a fast song in English on one side and Spanish adaptation on the other. Children can read-along as they sing-along using the attractive bilingual illustrated songbook which includes the music. Intended for ages 3-7, this 16-minute recording is accompanied by a 32 page songbook. For bilingual ESL / SSL. Although the recording is out of print, the paperback bilingual songbook is still available for $3.95.


GET READY, GET SET, SING! - Released in November of 1994, this recording contains 31 upbeat exuberant traditional and original songs that combine learning with joyful sing-along fun. Many old favorites, with adaptations, many new songs inviting delight on alphabet, people, family, feelings, colors, numbers, shapes, animals, school, and transportation. Intended for ages 3-7 and up, this 52 minute recording is accompanied by a 40 page lyrics book and is perfect for basic concepts and language learning for early childhood and ESL.

İTODOS, LISTOS, CANTEN!: Canciones para niños y para aprender el español - by Sarah Barchas

Released in December of 1995, this recording contains delightful Spanish translations/adaptations of all of the 31 songs in "GET READY, GET SET, SING!" plus "De Colores". Zestful student chorus. Intended for ages 3-8 and above for SSL, this 59 minute recording is accompanied by a 40 page illustrated paperback lyrics book and is Ideal for sing-along, read-along fun for Spanish readers and SSL. This popular Spanish CD was selected as 1996 Parents' Choice Approval.

The GIANT and THE RABBIT: Six bilingual folk tales from Hispanic Culture - Selected, adapted, and told by Sarah Barchas

Released in August, 1996, these six folk tales reflecting the richness and diversity of Hispanic culture are shared bilingually in this acclaimed storytelling recording. Intended for ages 5-10 and above, this 70 minute sound recording is accompanied by a 36 page illustrated guidebook. While the book is not a read-along, it is a very useful teaching and learning tool for both children and adults. It includes story summaries, suggested activities, and lists of vocabulary, all shared bilingually, and, in addition, suggested further reading. The guidebook also provides a bibliography of suggested further related reading for each of the stories. It is a great resource for bilingual, ESL / SSL, and multicultural activities. This recording has been acclaimed as an ALA Notable recording.

IF I HAD A PONY: Animal Activity Songs performed by Sarah Barchas and the De Colores Chorus

Released in December of 1996, this recording contains 24 exhilarating traditional, adapted, and original songs about animals, inviting activity, movement, and creative participation by children. Child-tested, with enthusiastic children's chorus, the songs include over 70 animals of farm, zoo, circus, pets, wild animals, habitat, and dinosaurs. Intended for ages 3-8 and above for ESL, this recording is accompanied by a charming illustrated 36 page illustrated lyrics book. It provides sing-along, read-along fun for childhood and ESL.

İPIÑATA! AND MORE: Bilingual Songs for Children by Sarah Barchas

Released in September, 1997, this is an enhanced and revised version of "İPIÑATA!" and contains 20 exciting original and traditional songs in bilingual adaptations celebrating the richness of Hispanic culture, history, traditions, foods, festivities, holidays, contributions, and joy in being bilingual. It includes the title song, "De Colores" in both languages, "the 16th of September", "Cinco de Mayo", "Las Mañanitas", Hispanic Americans, " It's fun to be bilingual", and many more. The exuberant bilingual De Colores Chorus and effective instrumental background make this a real winner. This revised and enhanced edition of the popular 1991 release, "İPIÑATA!":Bilingual Songs for Children adds six popular traditional songs. Intended for ages 5-12 and above this 45 minute recording is accompanied by a charming 36 page illustrated lyrics book for bilingual read-along for schools, libraries, and family enjoyment. Excellent for multicultural bilingual, ESL, SSL.

BRIDGES ACROSS THE WORLD: A Multicultural Songfest. Songs performed by Sarah Barchas and the De Colores Chorus

This breakthrough recording released in November, 1999, lets you rejoice in celebrating through song the vitality of diverse cultures throughout the world and our common bonds of humanity. Read-along and sing-along in this vibrant collection of 30 original and traditional multicultural and multilingual songs, enhanced by the dynamic De Colores Chorus.  The distinctive illustrated 60 page book that accompanies the recording is more than a lyrics book. It includes all song lyrics and is a valuable reference guide as well. Its language appendix includes descriptions of languages and expressions and pronunciations in twelve languages (Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili). The book also provides suggestions for twelve activities that can help you work with languages and a multilingual bibliography. Intended for people of all ages who discover joy and pride in learning languages, and in experiencing the richness of other cultures, this 73 minute recording is excellent for grades K-6 and above for schools, libraries, and family enjoyment.

 When one sings a song associated with another culture, one makes a link to that culture that becomes part of one's storehouse of experiences.  "BRIDGES ACROSS THE WORLD: A Multicultural Songfest" is exactly as its title suggests. It is an exuberant, joyful quest to build bridges rather than walls, embracing life, hope, and understanding through song.

SEASONS of LIFE: Reflections in Song - Songs for adults by Sarah Barchas.

Released in March, 2002, "SEASONS of LIFE: Reflections in Song" is a memorable collection of 17 original inspirational and meditational songs that reflect on passages of experience and time. The songs focus on the fragility of life, the complexity of life, the ephemeral aspects of time, the need to seek, find, and make meaning while we have life. These are songs of survival, hope, help, and healing that can speak to teens and adults.

THIS OLD HOUSE: This recording is now out of print as a single but is included on the album “LIVING WITH THE LAND”

LIVING WITH THE LAND: Songs of Ranch Life by Sarah Barchas

Released in January, 2005, "LIVING WITH THE LAND: Songs of Ranch Life" is for all ages, for rural and urban dwellers, ranchers, farmers, environmentalists, for all who want those who live with the land to live in harmony with the earth. If you have ever lived with the land or dreamed of living with the land, this CD is for you.  If you are a city dweller who is happy to remain in urban life, this CD can transport you to another way of life and give you insight that will stretch your experiences in a lasting way.  This new collection of 14 original songs by Sarah Barchas evokes her authentic experiences and perceptions through 48 years of ranching in southeast Arizona.  The songs express wistfulness, humor, adventure, excitement, discovery, joy, poignancy and conviction in experiences truly and fully lived.  This CD includes "This Old House", which was released in November of 2002 as a single song of conservation awareness that seeks to preserve and restore the distinctive 100-year old adobe house on Brown Canyon Ranch, now owned by the US Forest Service. The subject of a "Passport in Time" project, the house has become a part of a remarkable collaborative effort for research and action. It stands as a symbol of what can be done when dedicated students, educators, Forest Service staff, community and conservation groups, experts and volunteers work together in common purpose in a worthy partnership project where people are making a difference for the future.

TONWEYA AND THE EAGLES: Multicultural Folktales of Imagination and Insight selected and performed by Storyteller Sarah Barchas.

Released in August, 2007, this dynamic compact disc features five unforgettable multicultural folktales of exceptional substance that can spark imagination, thought, insight and creative response. The folktales are drawn from diverse cultures and regions of the world, yet all speak to the universalities of humans across cultures.

The five stories include the following: “Tonweya and the Eagles” (Lakota- Sioux); “Clever Manka” (Czechoslovakia); “”The Tiger's Whisker” (Korea); “How the Sons Filled the Hut” (Latvia); and “The Fire On the Mountain” (Ethiopia). The 67 ½ minute CD includes insert guide-booklet containing story summaries and suggestions for discussion and activities. Ideal for use with ages 8 to 14 and above, for libraries, schools, and family enjoyment. This CD won a Parents Choice Gold Award.

SEEDS OF SONG THROUGH TIME Released in 2008, this CD of 13 songs with lyrics booklet is a remarkable and unique collaboration between mother and daughter from two years of shared songwriting completed at ages 95 and 69 respectively. The core initial melodies for 8 of the 13 songs came from hummed melodies by Cecile who is bedridden, frail and with multiple infirmities at this point in her long life, yet still retained a love of music that helped sustain her. The weaving by Sarah of contrast melody and lyrics inspired by her mother's melodies, and the process of completion through shared effort and values, became a treasured experience for both.

The songs on this CD deal with themes of life, time, dreams, memories, growth, hope through adversity, connections to others, responsibility to this earth, and legacy. The song titles are “Music Box,” “Call This Memory,” “Night Song,” “Almost Missed,” “Merry-Go-Round,” “Listen to the Dream,” “Sleep, My Baby,” “Window,” “Worrying,” “Points of Light,” “Elusive Time,” “Does It Matter?” and “Seeds of Song Through Time.”

From the wistful enchantment of a long lost music box rediscovered, to the recognition that past dreams laid aside might still in some way be realized; from reaching inward and outward in hopes, memory, coping and growth, to viewing and still shaping the panorama of one's life; from individual connections with others to global connections and need for responsibility toward this earth, SEEDS OF SONG THROUGH TIME speaks across ages to TIME and to LIFE.

A WHISPER IN TIME: Songs of Life, Love and Loss by Sarah Barchas (with two songs based on hummed melodies by mother, Cecile Barchas, age 98, before her death)

Released in November, 2012, “A Whisper In Time: Songs of Life, Love, and Loss” is excellent for cross generational family sharing from pre-teens through all adult life. A 20 page lyrics booklet is included.  From the zest and wonder of wild horses to the uplifting memories of devotion and spirit of a faithful cowdog, these songs portray love through many dimensions of life and loss. They explore love of life and its possibilities, love of vibrance and beauty in nature, love during time of temporary or extended separation, long-lasting love that continues to grow across time, love adjusting to decline, love during pain of anticipation of loss, and love in honoring and remembrance after loss. These are poignant songs through the journey of life, love, and coping with loss; songs of depth that can stir heart, mind and spirit across time and generations.


I WAS WALKING DOWN THE ROAD - This classic little patterned-language PB book is a charmer for early reading and has taught many young children how to read as they delight guessing the fun predictable animal rhymes. Creative parents and teachers can encourage them to add their own additional verses. Published by Scholastic in 1975, it sold 750,000 copies and is still available from High Haven Music.


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Rev 13.5 Last modified 01/03/2016