Latest

The Disclosures Release Animated Pirate Video for Kids about Borrowing $

The Disclosures – the Madison-based “musicians with a mission” – have released a new animated “lyric” video for “The Tale of Kidd Silver, the Savviest Pirate to Ever Sail the Seas”, which is from their financial education album for kids.

> View “The Tale of Kidd Silver, the Savviest Pirate to Ever Sail the Seas” music video

In the song “The Tale of Kidd Silver, the Savviest Pirate to Ever Sail the Seas”, The Disclosures – comprised of band members Christopher Morris (National Credit Union Foundation) and Chad Helminak (Heritage Credit Union) – detail the journey of Kidd Silver, a pirate who excessively borrows money without paying attention to the consequences of not being able to pay it back. He later realizes the errors of his ways and learns to budget and be more reasonable in his desires to become a pirate. The song lyrics weave in educational topics including how loans and interest work, needs vs. wants, budgeting, and more.

“Aside from ‘Thank my Piggy Bank,’ Kidd Silver has been the most popular song off of our kids album,” said Helminak. “Kids love this song when we play it live, so we hope this extension into the animated world helps more kids learn about Kidd Silver and his money lessons.”

The Disclosures worked with a leading industry marketing firm, Gira[ph}, to develop the animated video. Production support was provided by Balance, which provides comprehensive financial counseling and education services to help people achieve financial independence.

“Huge thanks to Kathryn Davis and our friends at Balance for helping support this video,” said Morris. “Gira{ph} took our vision to new heights as well by creating this video, which is our most ambitious yet.”

In addition to this new video for kids, The Disclosures also have released videos for “The Secret to Being Rich”, “I Want, I Need,” and their most popular single “Thank My Piggy Bank.” As with all of their songs and videos, The Disclosures hope that parents and teachers use these materials to spark conversations with kids about these very important topics.

“The Secret to Being Rich” album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and many others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at cdbaby.com, and The Disclosures also offer discounted bulk CD orders for financial institutions, schools or youth organizations. All ordering information and additional resources can be found on thedisclosuresmusic.com.

Click here for more information about The Disclosures.

Have you Picked Up our Kids Album Yet?

Disclosures_Digital_Cover-01

There is a very real need for children to be introduced to financial education at an early age. Last year, the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) tested teens on areas covered within national financial literacy standards. The results were shocking; while only 4.7% of participants got an A on the test, 62.4% got a D or an F.

Music and education have been effectively used to teach children about important topics such as reading and math, but not around the basics of financial literacy (until now!). Our latest album, “The Secret to Being Rich,” incorporates concepts such as saving, responsible spending, the importance of charity, the dangers of “too good to be true” advertising and even the basics of how loans work for children ten and under.

It’s fun. It’s educational and the songs will stick with you (and your child)!

> Get a digital or physical copy of the album here

Just Released: Energize your Employees with a Special ICU Day Video from The Disclosures


The credit union industry’s only education-focused rock band, The Disclosures, has released a fun and informative video for credit union employees to celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day.

> Click here to watch the video.

The video is intended to educate credit union organization staff about ICU Day and how important it is to celebrate and share our credit union roots and mission. It features:

  • Details about ICU Day and stories from credit union history;
  • Important activities taking place on ICU Day;
  • Last-minute ideas to celebrate in your communities;
  • Takeaways around storytelling, values and history;
  • And, of course, a few credit union-inspired songs by The Disclosures.

The video’s content borrows heavily from The Disclosures’ highly-rated breakout session that has been presented at industry events around the country. The video is free for all credit union organizations to use as they see fit.

“Given the ICU Day theme of ‘people helping people’ this year, we wanted to give something back to the industry that has given us so much,” said band member Christopher Morris. “Our presentation style is loose and light-hearted, and we prefer guitars to a slide deck, so we hope credit unions find value and joy in sharing our message with staff.”

“One of the goals of ICU Day is to raise awareness about the great work credit unions are doing to improve people’s financial well-being,” said band member Chad Helminak. “We hope credit unions everywhere find some inspiration and ideas in our video to spread the credit union message on ICU Day and beyond.“

The video’s estimated run time is 30 minutes and was recorded on the World Credit Union Center Campus in Madison, Wis. The Disclosures would like to thank CUNA Mutual Group for providing production support.

About the Band:
Christopher Morris and Chad Helminak are “musicians with a mission” based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Outside of their day jobs, they moonlight as music-based educators “The Disclosures” and write songs and perform presentations about the importance of financial literacy and social responsibility. After releasing their first album of original credit union songs in 2011, Christopher Morris and Chad Helminak presented highly-rated education sessions and music performances across the nation.

Their latest album, “The Secret to Being Rich”, is focused on youth financial literacy, using music and humor to introduce lessons about money, savings, responsible spending, and more. For more information about The Disclosures, click here.

Save the Date: Energize your Employees with a Special ICU Day Video from The Disclosures

20150908_154252

The credit union industry’s only education-focused rock band, The Disclosures, will be releasing a fun and informative video for credit union employees on October 15 to celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day.

The video’s content will borrow heavily from The Disclosures’ highly-rated breakout session that has presented at industry events around the country. It will be uploaded to the band’s YouTube account and is free for all credit unions to use as they see fit.

If interested in viewing and sharing The Disclosures’ ICU Day video, visit the band’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/thedisclosures and subscribe to be notified as soon as it’s uploaded. The video’s estimated run time will be 20-30 minutes.ICU_Day_2015_logo_JPG

The Disclosures Receive the 2015 Cooperative Spirit Award

11741170_10205935785327372_6220343039667312722_oThe Disclosures, Chad Helminak and Christopher Morris, were presented with the 2015 Development Education (DE) Program Cooperative Spirit Award last week at a special reception during the annual DE Workshop, July 9-11, 2015 in Denver, Colo. in conjunction with CUNA and the World Council of Credit Union’s “CU in Denver” event. The award is given annually to “a group of individuals for a project that has made a significant difference to a community, school, a credit union or the greater credit union movement.”

Over 100 Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) gathered at the recent workshop to help the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) present the award. In the announcement from the Foundation, The Disclosures were recognized for the following:

  • Making a significant difference to youth and the greater credit union community by engaging in the credit union difference in a completely new and unique way using their own talents and gifts.
  • Captured the attention of media, blogs, speaker bureaus, unique entertainment spots that always brought positive attention to the role of credit unions and financial education.
  • Created lasting videos, albums and songs to be leveraged by various credit union groups.
  • Known for being fresh, new, unique, inspirational, fun and impactful.

“When we met in 2009 at DE Training, we had no idea that this little band would take us on a journey from coast to coast, playing in Estes Park, school assemblies, conferences and all types of events,” said band member Christopher Morris. “But it’s been a great trip. And it’s easy when you are singing about something you are passionate about. And for us, that’s credit unions and financial education.”

“It’s very meaningful to be recognized by our peers, especially when we’ve been on hiatus for a while,” said band member Chad Helminak. “This honor has reminded us of how impactful and enjoyable our musical efforts has been, and maybe that it’s time to recharge and ramp up those efforts in the near future.”

Nominations were submitted by CUDEs and winners were chosen by the 2015 CUDE Awards Committee, which consisted of the following individuals:

  • Debbie Wege, BECU;
  • Larry Blanchard, CUNA Mutual Group;
  • Brandon McAdams, Coastal FCU; and
  • Lily Newfarmer, Tarrant County’s CU.

More information about the award and other honorees is online here.

The Disclosures wish to thank our friends and family, everyone at the National Credit Union Foundation, the Wisconsin Credit Union League, and anyone who either bought our music, shared our videos, or hired us to come out and play at their event!

awards_committeeAwards_poster

DE_award

The Disclosures on Hiatus – An Open Letter to Our Fans

Four years ago, we set out to make the world’s first album featuring songs about credit union history and philosophy. We made a “dream big” list of crazy venues we’d like to play, audiences we’d like to entertain and those “wouldn’t it be cool if…” ideas.

We set lofty goals and were surprised to find that two years later, we had accomplished everything we wanted to and then some. So we sat down and came up with another “dream big” list, this time setting our sights on making a financial education album for kids unlike anything else in existence. Looking back at our list now, we realize that we’ve again achieved everything we initially set out to do.

Over the past four years, we’ve played our music at almost every type of venue open to a credit union band with audiences made up of thousands upon thousands of credit union employees, members, and kids at credit union chapters, staff trainings, league annual meetings, national conferences (including crazy venues like Disney World and Estes Park), school assemblies across the country, and many more events we felt fortunate to be a part of.

The Disclosures have been interviewed for newspapers and TV, featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, and our YouTube music videos have earned over forty thousand views. We’ve busked on streets, damaged instruments and soundboards, spent countless hours driving or being delayed in airports, and used many vacation days just to play our music and hopefully inspire others to learn more about credit unions and personal finance.

We feel extremely fortunate to have all of these experiences and meet so many amazing people along the way, and there’s only one question we ask ourselves now: “what’s left for a credit union rock band to do in this world?”

The answer is: take a hiatus. This is not a break-up as we want to leave the door open for whatever the future brings in terms of opportunities and our own ideas. We’re also still close friends and you won’t find any scandals behind this band “break up” (sorry TMZ!). We both have plenty of dreams and creativity left and are now just making new goals and plans that don’t tie into “The Disclosures” model.

The Disclosures want to thank everyone over the years who have supported our efforts and invited us to perform. There are simply too many people to individually thank, but know that we could not have accomplished our dreams without you. Performing and creating our songs has brought us much joy, and we hope you feel the same.

Perhaps the last item on our “dream big” list is that we hope people will continue to stumble on our music in future years and ask: “wait, what the heck is this?”. Along with being slightly unusual, our music has always been intended to inspire education, humor and passion for what we believe in. Whether it’s a song about the cooperative principles or a pirate with irresponsible borrowing habits, we hope that always shines through.

It’s fitting that our last performance was for the Filene Research Institute’s 25th anniversary party, as Ed Filene has been a constant source of inspiration for us both. We have done our best to “keep purpose constant”, as Ed once said, and will continue to do so in whatever we do.

Cooperatively,

Chad and Christopher


disclosures_estespark

The Disclosures Release “I Want, I Need” Lyric Video

The Disclosures – the Madison-based “musicians with a mission” – have released a new “lyric” video for “I Want, I Need”, which is from their recently released financial education album for kids.

> Click here for “I Want, I Need” Video

In the song “I Want, I Need”, The Disclosures discuss the difference between wants and needs to help kids manage their money better. Once kids learn the difference, it’s a great foundation for budgeting, saving, spending, etc. In fact, because the concepts on The Disclosures’ new kids album build on themselves,  it’s one of the first songs on the album.

In addition to this new video for kids, The Disclosures also recently released a video for “The Secret to Being Rich” and their popular “Thank My Piggy Bank” video was released in 2013. As with all of their songs and videos, The Disclosures hope that parents and teachers use these materials to spark conversations with kids about these very important topics

“The Secret to Being Rich” album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and many others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at cdbaby.com, and The Disclosures also offer discounted bulk CD orders for financial institutions, schools or youth organizations. All ordering information and additional resources can be found on thedisclosuresmusic.com.

Click here for more information about The Disclosures.

The Disclosures to Perform at Southeast Credit Union Conference & Filene’s Anniversary Party

We are pleased to announce two exciting shows this summer! First, we are performing all over at the Southeast Credit Union Conference & Expo in beautiful Orlando, Florida on June 11, 2014. We’ll be performing our musical breakout session, “Credit Unions Rock! Getting in Tune with our Roots and Philosophy,” performing a set of songs in the exhibit hall, as well as playing a special kids show in the evening. It’s shaping up to be a great event and the theme of the conference is “Living the Cooperative Principles the Credit Union Way” so it’s definitely a perfect fit for us!

> Click Here for More Information on the Event

In July, we are honored to be performing a set of live music for the Filene Research Institute’s 25th Anniversary Shindig in Madison, Wisconsin on July 15, 2014. Expect to hear some of our original songs, mixed in with some popular covers and some DJing of our favorite tunes.

> Click Here for More Information about the Event

Hope to see you at either event this summer! And of course, if you are ever interested in having The Disclosures perform at your next event, here is more information.

 

 

 

The Disclosures Release “The Secret to Being Rich” Video & Free Song for Financial Literacy Month

Kicking off National Financial Literacy Month, The Disclosures – the Madison-based “musicians with a mission” – have released a new video and free song download for “The Secret to Being Rich”, which is the title track off of their recently released financial education album for kids.

> Click here for “The Secret to Being Rich” Video

> Click here to download “The Secret to Being Rich” Song (free until April 30)

While other songs on their new album focus on financial literacy, the song “The Secret to Being Rich” is intended to teach kids that being ‘rich’ takes hard work and discipline, but that you can also be wealthy in many ways aside from how much money is in your wallet.

“This is one of our more serious songs for kids, but we think it’s also one of our best because it contains a message that gets lost in a lot of financial literacy instruction – that money is important, but it’s not everything,” said Christopher Morris, Disclosures band member.

Chad Helminak, the other member of The Disclosures, noted that “the title of the song and album can be initially jarring, but it’s only because we’re satirizing the ‘get rich quick’ schemes and distorted view of wealth kids might be see on TV and other places in today’s society.”

The “Secret to Being Rich” video features on-screen lyrics and outtakes from previous Disclosures videos such as the “Thank My Piggy Bank” video for kids that was released in 2013. As with all of their songs and videos, The Disclosures hope that parents and teachers use these materials to spark conversations with kids about these very important topics

“The Secret to Being Rich” album is available for download on all major digital music stores such as iTunes, Amazon and many others. Physical CDs also can be purchased at cdbaby.com, and The Disclosures also offer discounted bulk CD orders for financial institutions, schools or youth organizations. All ordering information and additional resources can be found on thedisclosuresmusic.com.

The Disclosures recently took their youth financial education songs on tour in Texas, playing live shows and assemblies for more than 1,000 K-5 students. Click here for a tour diary with pictures, videos and more.

Click here for more information about The Disclosures.

The Disclosures’ Texas Tour – 3 Days of Music, Money Lessons and Kids

auditoriamThey say everything is bigger in Texas and that just might be true, as we look back at our visit to the Lone Star State and our biggest tour yet! We had a fantastic time debuting our youth financial education music performances following the recent release of our new kids album, “The Secret to Being Rich.”

Our shows featured many of our financial education songs, as well as some fun discussion with students about savings and being careful with money. We played for over 1,000 students on the tour and while it’s hard to condense all of the awesome things that happened into one blog post, here’s our attempt at doing so!

Day 1: Beaumont, Nederland and Vidor, Texas – Sponsored by FivePoint Credit Union

The first day of the tour was a busy one, with a total of four shows lined up throughout the day. Two shows were for pre-K and 1st grade audiences and we played in school gymnasiums (one was even decked out in pirate flags since their school mascot was a pirate – perfect for our “Kidd Silver” song!). For the other two shows, we were fortunate to play in the very impressive Nederland School Performing Arts Center for large groups of 2nd and 3rd graders.

At both shows for the older group, we were asked to play encores of “Thank my Piggy Bank” as the kids sang and screamed along with the chorus. Our “smash hit” with kids made us feel like The Beatles for a brief second! Afterwards, we took pictures with the students and so many of them were excited to talk about their piggy banks and what they were saving for. We wish we had more time to talk with them all, but encouraged them to keep up the great work and talk with their parents, credit union and teachers about how to make their savings dreams come true.

We were lucky to also be joined by FivePoint CU’s mascot Starbit, who was a trooper and danced with us at every show. Click here to watch a video snippet from the arts center and here are some pictures from the day:

gym

pirategym1

Day 2: Ft. Worth and Azle, Texas – Sponsored by Tarrant County Credit Union

After a flight to Ft. Worth, day 2 of the tour kicked off in a neat old school auditorium (pictured at the top of this post) where we played to a large crown of 3rd through 5th graders. This was followed by a fun Q & A session with the kids where we talked about more money tips, our musical backgrounds and how we are not, in fact, brothers.

The second show venue probably had the most elaborate stage set as it was a elementary school cafeteria decorated for a Valentine’s Day assembly. The school’s 3rd and 4th graders sat on the floor and had a great time singing and moving to our songs about money! Again, we were asked if we were brothers or cousins. Again, the answer was no.

Both groups proved to be excited and very ambitious about their savings goals. When we asked them what they were saving up for, their answers included “a house”, “a car” and “money for college tuition” — impressive, right? We led the kids through a quick exercise to demonstrate the difference between wants and needs and encouraged them to keep their dreams big while also being realistic, which we hope was helpful for the few kids who said they needed a Ferrari or a mansion!

More pictures are below:

valentines2

valentine's

Day 3: Dallas, Texas

The third and last day of the tour culminated with a performance at the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s FOCUS Summit in Dallas. The conference is for financial education advocates (credit union professionals and others) and we got to kick it off with our interactive education session called “The Power of Song – Amping up Financial Education”. We played some of our new kids songs and shared insight on the creative process, experiential learning and the power of music and humor in education. It was also a lot of fun getting the adults to shout the infamous pirate “ARGH!” just like the kids had been doing the past two days (click here for a video snippet).

We were followed on the agenda by Jean Chatzky, bestselling author and financial editor of NBC’s Today Show, who we met afterwards and later that day, she even had some nice words to say about our performance on her Facebook page. Here are some pictures of the performance and The Disclosures posing with Ms. Chatzky afterwards:

focusperforming2

sellingcds

jean_chatzky3-1

Also, as a nice surprise, the local news was there (KTXD-TV) and we are featured in a segment about Jean Chatzky at 0:30 here:

 

All in all, our time in Texas was extremely gratifying and something we’ll never forget and we had tons of fun interacting with the students. One teacher said that after the show kids were “pumped” about savings and “singing their hearts out.” Another said she “so enjoyed the program” and her “class was singing it all day!” And Mandy Clayton with FivePoint Credit Union said:

“The Disclosures, Chad and Chris, are truly fabulous! They have an amazing way of bringing music with a mission of financial education that is fun for students and they don’t even realize they are learning.  It’s an awesome sound to hear elementary school students belting out songs about thanking my piggy bank and saving for their needs & wants, that’s when you know they really get it.”

Thanks again to FivePoint Credit Union and Tarrant County Credit Union for making this tour possible and taking good care of us (special thanks to Mandy and Tawna!). Also, big thanks to Courtney and the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation for inviting us to their FOCUS Summit and let us “warm up” for Jean Chatzky!