SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Officials of Scotch Plains, including Mayor Al Smith, Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo, Township Manager Al Mirabella, Deputy Manager Margaret Heisey, Recreation Director DJ Salvante, and Redevelopment Coordinator Tom Strowe helped welcome children's educational music business, Songs for Seeds, to the Township on Friday, Jan. 31.

The officials, along with Gene Jannotti of the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce, cut the ribbon on the business and were entertained by musicians, including Ray Andersen, the composer of all Songs for Seeds original music.

A native of New Jersey, Andersen grew up in the West Orange house once owned by legendary songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. He was inspired at a very early age to start singing, playing piano, guitar and drums and crafting his own songs -- without ever having a formal music lesson. During his career, Anderson has toured with Meat Loaf and performed with fellow NJ-based rockers Bruce Springsteen and John Bon Jovi.

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Songs for Seeds (551 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) engages kids while laying the foundation of early childhood education through musical activities. In each class, children will hear music from a different region of the world, be exposed to a variety of rhythm patterns, and have the opportunity to experiment with singing and playing real instruments. The classes reinforce knowledge of colors and shapes, counting single digit numbers, and animal recognition through animated impressions of their sounds and movements.

"We saw what kind of town Scotch Plains is and knew it was a great place to open this business," said owner Debra Martin.

(Two videos below.)

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