Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dr. Jennifer House Joins Board of Directors

Please see our exciting announcement today in the San Francisco Business Times:

Dr. Jennifer House Joins Board of Directors of Listen for Life
Education technology veteran latest addition to world-class team

OAKLAND, Calif., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Listen for Life™, a global nonprofit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide, has tapped Jennifer House, Ph.D., founder and president of RedRock Reports and an education technology industry veteran, as the latest member of its Board of Directors. House will help guide the organization by serving as its educational business development and legislative liaison. Also joining the Board of Directors are Mark Mallardi, appointed CEO of Listen for Life in January, and Carol Castelli, who will serve as chief advisor for live events and product marketing/branding.

A veteran of Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Tenth Planet, and Classroom Connect, and an avid patron of the arts, Dr. House has served on the Boards of Directors of: The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Association of Education Publishers (AEP). House has received many awards, including Apple’s Golden Apple Award for Marketing Excellence.

Mallardi has amassed a great deal of expertise in the K-12 education, entertainment, and game industries, having served as VP of marketing for Educational Insights, VP of marketing communications for Classroom Connect, and general manager of education for Scope Seven. Additionally, he spent nearly a decade consulting with Fortune 500 consumer goods companies on behalf of Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), where he served as SVP & western regional manager. Mallardi is a regular speaker at industry conferences and has been published in industry journals.

Castelli joins the board with 20+ years of experience providing strategic planning, brand development, and financial management for global brands such as Disney and ConAgra, as well as facilitating partnerships and sponsorships with Fortune 500 companies. In 2001, she was instrumental in Disney’s $1.4 billion resort expansion.

“We extend our warmest welcome to our newest Board members. They each bring a great deal of expertise, a unique perspective, and a passion for our mission,” said Donna Stoering, Listen for Life founder, artistic director, CVO, and Board president. “They complement an existing team whose backgrounds include the BBC, NBC, CNN Asia, MTV, A&E, History Channel, Nickelodeon, and Apple.

Listen for Life brings under-represented music genres and undiscovered musicians and instruments to light for numerous populations. Its latest endeavor, Travels With Music, is a K-12 multimedia program that uses music to explore world cultures.

To learn more about Listen for Life™, visit

About Listen for Life™ and Travels With Music™

Listen for Life is a global non-profit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide. Headquartered in Oakland, California, Listen for Life has affiliate studios/production facilities in 45 countries worldwide, and owns over 400 hours of proprietary, fully rights-cleared video content of Master Musicians from around the globe performing original music compositions on instruments native to their cultures, and being interviewed in their native languages about their culture, their customs, their inspiration, and their way of life.

Travels With Music, a production of Listen for Life, leads K12 classrooms and homeschoolers on an interactive exploration of 15 world cultures, with Master Musicians as their guides. Students experience the richness and diversity of our world’s cultures through 300 video and audio segments, arranged in 30 Units (two Units per culture), comprising a total of six hours of course content. For more information about Travels With Music, visit You can also connect with Travels With Music on Facebook and BuzcastTV.

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Non-Profit: Productivity Without the Corporate Trappings

Please see my tips for successfully running an organization from a home office – published today on the Citibank Small Business Resource Center website:

9 Must-Haves for Your Home Office
By Mark Mallardi

Over the past 10 years, I have operated several start-up companies from my home-based office, working with virtual teams distributed across the US, Europe, and India. Having a home-based business has many advantages, not the least of which is the ability to more effectively control your workday than is possible in a corporate office setting.

I’ve learned, though, that it’s important to have certain basics in place in order for your business to be more successful.

1. A line of demarcation. Should a pitcher’s family members or pets be able to walk between the lines of the baseball diamond during the game? Of course not. Similarly, you need a place where you can work quietly behind closed doors, creating a clear separation that says, “I’m at work.” If you leave the lines too blurry, you risk distraction, interruptions during critical business conversations, or worse. (One exception to this rule: if you have a mellow dog who enjoys sleeping close to you as you work—like my 15-year-old Rottweiler, Klaus Von Bear—you have the perfect office companion.)

2. A solid all-in-one printer/scanner/fax machine. Don’t skimp here or you’ll deal with interminable paper jams, inconsistency in quality of printing, limited scanning capacity, and so on. Spend more to get a reliable, workhorse machine that will stand the test of time.

3. A land line. Most of your meetings will likely take place on the phone, and connectivity and reception are generally more reliable on a land line.

4. Videoconferencing. Your setup can be as simple as using a free or low-cost app and your webcam but, increasingly, colleagues will expect you to have this capability. Of course, be sure to approach a videoconference as you would a face-to-face presentation or meeting, with the same level of preparation and the same professionalism that you would display in person.

5. Good lighting. The quality of your lighting will make all the difference in your productivity (and mood) on those days you spend 10 to 12 hours in the office. I use a combination of lights: a tall, floor-standing lamp that diffuses mellow, low-glare lighting up, over, and around my work area; and a high-intensity desk lamp that provides solid, bright-white spot lighting directly onto the desk and keyboard.

6. A large external monitor, a full external keyboard, and a wireless mouse. Don’t attempt to work solely from your laptop—it will drive you mad! From small, closely set keys to small screens that force you to hunch over the laptop in order to see what you’re doing, the same laptop that can be a lifesaver when you’re on the road can drive you crazy when relied upon as your primary computer.

7. Water. In a home-based office, it’s all too easy to overdose on the coffee or soda that’s readily available in the kitchen. I’ve learned that while caffeine and sugar provide a temporary lift, those spikes in cognition are fleeting at best, and are followed by periods of fatigue. Regular consumption of water, on the other hand, will keep you properly hydrated and help you to maintain clarity of thought throughout all the stresses the workday can bring.

8. Creativity enhancers, such as squeeze balls, a wall-mounted basketball hoop, a desktop pool table, and so on. These devices are great for temporarily taking your mind off of work and freeing it up for inspiration. Having them in your home office enables you to benefit from a break without derailing your workday the way leaving your office has the potential to do.

9. “Corporate” trappings. Use inexpensive strategies that give a professional impression for your home-based business.

First, rent a P.O. box or mailbox. I don’t recommend using your home address on your website or business card—for privacy reasons and because it’s usually fairly obvious that it is a home address.

For a distributed or virtual team, I recommend having each member of the team have his or her own local P.O. box or a mailbox, the kind that’s available at the retail mail shops that can be found in virtually every neighborhood. Use that P.O. box or mailbox on your business cards also—and by all means, have those business cards professionally printed.

Finally, make sure your phone system is business-appropriate: caller ID should show your or your company’s name, not your spouse’s, and your outgoing voice message should be crisp and professional.

Mark Mallardi is CEO of Listen for Life, a nonprofit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide. He can be reached at

© 2014 Citigroup Inc. Citibank, N.A. Member FDIC.

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EdTech Digest

See coverage of Travels With Music at EdTech Digest:

Cool Tool | Travels With Music

With the newly released Travels With Music, K12 students can explore the richness and diversity of 15 world cultures – Bulgaria, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, the Philippines, Trinidad and the USA – with music as their guide. Offered by Listen for Life, a global nonprofit music-media organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of music culture worldwide, the multimedia program includes 300 video and audio segments that comprise six hours of classroom instruction. Travels With Music is ideal for instruction in a variety of curriculum areas, including: history, geography, ESL/EFL/TESOL, cultural diversity, cultural literacy, music and tolerance.

Available as both an online subscription and on DVD, Travels With Music introduces each culture by providing perspective on its origins and history, its surrounding geography, and what makes that culture unique in terms of its customs, language(s) and music. In-depth interviews with each culture’s Master Musicians, in their native language and with accompanying English language voiceover, provide a “day-in-the-life” perspective on their culture: their background, family, traditions, musical influences, and way of life. Travels With Music explores the origins of the musical instruments native to each culture, and enables students to see and hear Master Musicians showcasing their instruments through performance footage, both in studio and in live settings, accompanied by rich visuals from each Master Musician’s country/culture.

A comprehensive downloadable Teacher’s Guide provides background information for each culture and musician, a Glossary of Music Terms, and a series of multiple choice questions for assessment of comprehension for each unit. Individual subscriptions, as well as DVDs or DVD-ROMs, are sold for $69.95 each. Teachers with online subscriptions may purchase student accounts for $10 per student. To learn more, access a Free Unit on the culture of Peru, or purchase Travels With Music, visit

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