RUMFORD — Brent Bachelder has developed an online show with animation and music to teach art to his students at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico and Andover Elementary School. He got help from a stranger in the United Kingdom and a friend in Rhode Island.

Animation for The Art with Mr. Brent Show. Submitted photo

“I wanted to do more than just a videotaped lesson, so I thought perhaps a show would keep the kids engaged,” he said. “Plus I could do one comprehensive show with different subjects and ideas for all age groups.”

On March 21, Bachelder began composing a jingle for The Art with Mr. Brent Show. At fiverr.com, a source for finding affordable creative people, he discovered a musician who could take his written lyrics and set it to music.

“I could hear the basic tune in my head but I am not really musical at all,” Bachelder said.

AdamH Music, who lives in the United Kingdom, offered to do it for $25.

“I contacted him around 10 a.m. and got the jingle by 3 p.m. the same day! I tipped him well,” Bachelder said.

RSU 10 art teacher Brent Bachelder sits in his home studio in Rumford where he produces The Art with Mr. Brent Show for his students. Submitted photo

His friend Bradley Campbell in Rhode Island did the animation for the jingle in less than a week.

It cost him about $300 for both components.

“I spent my own money on the jingle and animation, but felt it was worth it,” Bachelder said.

He borrowed lights and a mic and produced the show from his home in Rumford.

His next hurdle was putting himself in the spotlight.

“I had to overcome my self-consciousness of putting myself in front of an audience, something I have never really done before,” the art teacher said. “I am still struggling with that. You open yourself up for naysayers and negative comments and all that potential nastiness.”

But the positives outweighed the negatives in his mind.

RSU 10 art teacher Brent Bachelder is producing an online show for his students and greets them weekly over Zoom. Submitted photo

“Kids gotta make art, so I am pushing forward!” he said.

The Art with Mr. Brent Show includes animation storyboards, drawing dragons, food trucks, how the tongue works, plants, toys and more.

“This is an opportunity for me and others to bring a new model to teaching in general,” Bachelder said. “Even when we go back, I know this has changed my way of thinking.”

“I am a bit excited to experiment with something new. I have always sort of felt stuck teaching at school, feeling it was sort of thinking inside the box. Not bad, just not for me,” he said.

“I think all the teachers are being super creative in their own way; to make their remote teaching work best for them, with no models to follow or any real direction/instruction,” he said. “It is the Wild West of creativity here and across the country and that is the silver lining in all this.”

Bachelder said he is also doing live Zoom at 10 a.m. Saturdays “with any kids who want to join in, just to say hi and to show me their informal work they have been doing.”

Zoom is an online video platform that allows a group of people to be visible all at once.

Bachelder says he’s always looking for suggestions and feedback and can be reached at [email protected] or (207) 507-1207.

Week 1, Episode 1 of the weekly The Art with Mr. Brent Show can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSu-Ut1Bhjg&t=127s


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