Lessia Bonn

For a magical decade, Lessia served as songwriter, coach, and counselor to a giant pop choir known as Lessia's Crew. Crew became a "Santa Barbara phenom!" (Montecito Journal.) As kids shared life challenges with Lessia daily, she soon realized she could greatly empower her kids by penning useful life insights into songs that were addictively fun for them to sing. Vocals By Locals was born as gifted Crew members began recording Lessia's wisdom-packed songs. The VBL site is now the main source of material for the I am Bullyproof Music library located here and on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Featured vocalists on IaBPm song tracks include Jessie Bridges (middle daughter of actor, Jeff), Viva Gore (dad is in the English band Depeche Mode) and Rachel Sand, a young actor sharing a manager with Hilary Duff. All songs are studio recorded with a full band that includes Justin Timberlake's excellent drummer. The piano and background vocals are Lessia - kids and parents also often thrown into the mix. For example, the sax player on our Monkey song is a talented parent, and the background choir on Special includes many parents with their teens.

More scoop:

Ms. Bonn created and produced the popular SBTV show Enlightenment Stew, which featured much of her own work. She has co-produced with Alan Thicke of the family show Growing Pains. She consulted for and helped create the award-winning band Loomis  (MTV/Billboard magazine). Alongside Isabelle Bridges Boesch, Lessia co-founded Truth be Told ; a mindful music site for kids.  Bridges and Bonn

BACK STORY:

Lessia received her entire musical education on full scholarship under the umbrella of USC's Gifted program, winning a city-wide essay contest at ten, a state-wide talent contest at eleven, and soloing with her first symphony orchestra at twelve. While still a tween, her lyric poetry was published in a national magazine. Choosing Curtis Institute over Juilliard because it was more intimate, Lessia was awarded a grand piano of her choice for simply gaining admittance. Her songs becoming so popular at the school, she became the only contemporary singer/songwriter to this day asked to perform her material on the school's renowned classical stage.

Lessia has always been easy-going about her talents. She much prefers being of service to young people to simply playing with her own fingers and toes. With I am Bullyproof Music  she feels she has a chance to help heal the world.  She is also the proud mom of  two tall sons. Being a mom has been her most heartfelt calling.

Retta London

Retta (Rainbow City Learning) was the Farmington Public Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year in 1998, and also the WDIV/Newsweek Oakland County, Michigan's Elementary Educator of the Year in 1998. In 1999, She was a nominee for the Disney Teaching Awards. In 2008, Retta was selected as Great Lake Scholars Teacher of the Year. This honor awarded to one teacher from the Great Lakes Region including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. She has been trained as an INTEL Teach to the Future teacher trainer, and as been a frequent presenter at Michigan Reading Association conferences. She was also a member of the first cohort group in the Galileo Leadership Academy.

Retta co-creates classroom units with Lessia that include CC ELA literature tie ins, craftivities, and more. The full story of Retta's flourishing collaboration with IaPm can be found on our Bullyproof Rainbow page. Many of Retta's young students are now featured in our videos. Inspired by BP material, students in Retta's district are now signing up for her Bullyproof Rainbow  after school program. We hope this serves as a model for other teachers around the country highly motivated to inspire and empower kids!

          Jaan Landheer

Jaan Landheer has much experience mixing mental health, social issues and music. While still attending UCSC, he worked with psychologist Patrice Wolters as Creative Director for her Hip Hop for Mental Health initiative. After graduating, Jaan moved back to Santa Barbara to work extensively with the homeless population. He became the Outreach Coordinator for the largest homeless shelter in Santa Barbara.  He currently works with troubled teens at Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter. Jaan has also co-written four songs with Lessia-- two already in play within the program. Fun trivia: Years ago, Jaan was a member of Lessia's original Crew!

  Dru Frick

Dru Frick has worked as an educator in California for the past twenty years, and has had experience teaching all levels from preschool to eight grade. She enjoys developing and implementing integrated lessons to bring life to the curriculum she teaches and believes in educating the whole child. Through her years of experience, Dru has come to the conclusion that music is one of the most powerful tools a teacher can employ to help children learn, understand and apply concepts to their own lives. After incorporated Lessia's music in her own classrooms and seeing it work it's magic, Dru graciously stepped up to offer to be a part of the IaBPm team. All our basic lesson plans are penned by Dru.

  I am Bullyproof Music

One of our videos, written by Lessia and Jaan, produced by Lessia in Sonoma, was featured in a documentary at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Another song was the backdrop for a short film featured at the Seattle Film Festival. Lessia shares an international prize for a film based on her song about a special needs child. Her song Flicker Little Candle is featured in the Alfred Music Publishing's The Ultimate Christmas Music Collection.