On Music with Children
From James Packard, Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, NY
"I was most impressed by Paul’s show because of the interactive nature of the performance. He was totally in the moment with his audience, engaging them through original songs and improvisation; in fact, he would turn on a dime and change a song based on the spontaneous reaction from the audience. The performances engaged the adults as well as the children and were very family friendly. Paul’s material is timely, substantive and quality."
From Comprehensive Kids Developmental School, NY, NY
"Mr. Helou's work with the children has truly been an added enhancement to our program. The children and staff enjoyed and eagerly anticipated their music sessions with Mr. Helou, and I am certain given the opportunity you will understand why."
From Laura Grunwerg, Children's Librarian for River Edge Public Library, River Edge, NJ
"Paul Helou performed his Bears, Bees & Butterflies program at the River Edge Library to over 30 three- to eight-year-olds who couldn't stop rocking and jumping to his infectious original tunes. Paul's songwriting is fresh and engaging, filled with whimsy and storytelling -- Eureka was my personal favorite. Paul captivated his young audience with humor, patience, and good new-fashioned music making.
Paul was also extremely flexible in tailoring a program to fit our unique needs. The result was a special CD workshop for children ages 5 and up. Some thirty children met with Paul to write and record an earth-friendly tune entitled Listen to Our Voices. Paul worked overtime to tweak the recording, overdubbing vocal and percussive tracks to produce a one-of-a-kind keepsake that was distributed to all of the children who participated in the event."
From Ray Messing, Children's Librarian, Larchmont Public Library, Larchmont, NY
"Original and fresh. Great for all ages. Highly recommended!"
From a letter to Hospital Audiences Inc (HAI)
“On behalf of the children and staff, I want to thank you for the wonderful performance by Paul Helou . . . it was a moving experience for the 75 children and 34 staff. His gentle, easy-going style lent a calming influence as the wind and rain howled outside the windows. He moved easily among the children, playing his guitar and singing his new songs. He encouraged the children to become involved . . . Mr. Helou’s ability to create such a gentle, accepting atmosphere was truly remarkable.”
--United Cerebral Palsy of NYC
From another letter to HAI
“His opening act was brilliant. Mr. Helou from the start imbues the children with his amusement . . . the room would fill with laughter . . . everyone had an exciting, fun-filled and wonderful musical time with Paul . . . the event was very interactive and everyone is appreciative
. . . Mr. Helou did such a great job that the staff has asked if we can have him come back and perform again.”
--Citizens Advice Bureau, NYC
“Our centers enjoyed watching your performance and interacting to all the songs that you provided. You are so talented and our staff and children only had GREAT [caps in original letter!] things to say about you.”
--The Learning Experience, New Jersey
“Paul Helou delighted the hearts of the young and old and everyone in between last Friday at Happenings on Main Street. As he lead the children around the gazebo, his original lyrics of Bernie the Hedgehog slivering through the web-filled caves as a dancing asparagus, he awakened the child within me . . . that still wants to come out to play. This kind of fun with the children is really very therapeutic. It gets you out of the cares of life and into the innocence and joy of life quickly.”
--Town of Northport
“I want to thank you for your marvelous interactive performance with the children at our street fair. Your energy and receptivity were very impressive. You really helped make our rainy day fair special.”
--Washington Market School, Manhattan.
Shows/Music Therapy for Adults
“He connected with the audience immediately! . . . true entertainers who love to make people happy. . . I was warned that the clients would be roaming around the room during the performance. Nay, nay, not at this performance! The staff was truly surprised at how riveted to the performance everyone was. Bravo.”
--Harry Bastian, Hospital Audiences, Inc.
“What a terrifically talented young man Paul Helou is. He is an excellent guitar player. His ability to make up a song and sing it on the spur of the moment is phenomenal. I think kids would be particularly appreciative of his skills.
--Tim McDonnell, Hospital Audiences, Inc.
On Live Performance Bluegrass/Folk
“Paul, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoyed picking with you and J.P. up in Asheville last month. I love your guitar playing and especially your singing. You really put on a show! I can see where people could really get hooked on your style and humor.”
--Tom, San Antonio, TX
“It was delightful to meet you . . . you arrived with your guitar and gave our members such a special treat--your engaging music talent and intriguing lyrics were such great fun for us to hear. We know that children of all ages find your music a joy because your music leads the way for something magical to happen! We hope to see you again soon and will keep you in mind for children's events we might know about.”
--Marilyn Y., Garden City, NY
General Quotes on Paul's Recordings
“Hi, Paul! Just a short note to say I was listening to your CD this morning while my wife got ready for work. When Sweet Janine came on she came out inquiring, ‘who's that?’ She was really impressed and so rarely shows any interest in Tony Rice, Trishka, Skaggs or any of the other luminaries. This one picked her spirits up. Just thought you'd appreciate knowing that!”
--Jim K., NYC
“I was wondering if you would send me 2 copies and the new bonus sample for the daycare . . . Thanks. I appreciate you and your music. I love it.”
“It is amazing music, Paul. Lots of layers in it as well as simple fun. Exactly my style of music. Thanks. Could I order two more CDs for a couple of bookclub girlfriends who I share music with? Think of me smiling to your music here in MO.:)”
“I listened to your CD on the way home from the festival yesterday, and enjoyed it tremendously. You really got a great recording of great musicians performing great, hyper-original songs. Have I said enough? I was so impressed by your musicality. Combining your unique voice and poetical/magical lyrics with perfect arrangements and instrumentation, I'd have to say you've created a one-of-a-kind original masterpiece. I keep re-reading my words to make sure I haven't exaggerated my point...I think I'm satisfied that I've said just enough.”
--Mick Chodor, PA
“Although I only really heard a few of your tunes, I heard more than enough to be impressed and intrigued. Your composition style struck me as being quite unique with a good balance of left and right brain activity, and I wanted to hear each song again (which is a very good thing!) And hear other new ones as well (also good).”
--Steve Q., MD
On Musical Improv/Theater
“When I'm singing and improvisng with Paul, I feel such incredible joy; a freedom of expression and creativity that makes me giddy.”
--Mary Andrews, actress/singer
“Paul has an uncanny ability to breathe along with his performing colleagues so that his improvised guitar accompaniment is like the finest ensemble playing. His moment by moment partnership brings out the best in people. His wonderful sense of humor puts everyone at ease.”
--Carol Fox Prescott, Acting/Performance Coach
“The best performance experience I ever had in my life was on stage with Paul Helou. The performance consisted of Paul improvising guitar music to my monologues, interspersed with my dancing to his music while he sang his songs. I literally forgot who was initiating the entertainment. Was it the audience? Was it Paul? Was it me? We were all involved in one grand, transcendent experience. It made no literal sense, but it was magical. Then again, when does magic ever make sense?”
--Libby Skala, performer/writer, Lilia!
“Paul Helou . . . creates a mood of intimacy and reassurance . . . improvising according to moods, revelations, encounters . . . reawaken your inner child and take part in true ‘play.’”