I Support My School.. My Way… With Music.

I know. Shocker, right. The music freak “slaves” to raise money for her son’s school by throwing a rock concert every year.

But it’s much, much, much more than that.

It started almost nine years ago with Mr. Lady.

Did you know she used to be my neighbor? Like, right next door? [If you didn’t know that, ask Tanis, Diane or Jim. They will gladly fill you in.]

But here’s the thing. I live in a near-downtown neighborhood. A mixed school in every sense of the word. A school that was in big trouble 10 years ago, and the parents marched up those steps and stopped the doors from closing. Literally. Like literally, the correct use of literally, literally. Denver Public Schools now holds up Teller Elementary as a huge success story. A school that turned it around.

In part because of a rock concert.

A cool group of parents (Shannon included) decided that, if we are going to have to work our butts off for this school, LET’S HAVE FUN DOING IT.

Tellerpalooza was born.

The event has passed hands several times in the past nine years, and over the last three or so, it’s become ours. There is definitely a team that works very hard and collaboratively on the event – but Bryan and I live and breathe Tellerpalooza. We start scouting new bands the day after the show. We beg talk to bands all year long. I tweet from the Twitter account, and announce local concerts whether they have to do with the school or not.

What *is* Tellerpalooza, you may ask?











And this.


Make no mistake.

These are *not* kid-music bands. These are top bands around Colorado.

We celebrate Denver schools with Denver music.

All the bands *also* give up their time to support our school and have a blast doing it.

I can’t thank these amazing performers enough:

Angie Stevens & The Beautiful Wreck, The Autumn Film, Chris Daniels, Dead Sinatras, DeVotchKa, Dylan Yawger , Earmark Saints , The Heyday, Hobo Nickels, Izcalli, Joy Subtraction , Judge Roughneck , Mono Verde , Monroe Monroe , The New Distractions, Olivia Rudeen , The Panic, Petals of Spain, The Reals, Reverb & The Verse, Rob Drabkin, The Swayback, Wendy Woo , What Happened Saturday

Meanwhile, the Teller School Band is always the first act of the night. Our kids get to “open” for DeVotchKa. For The Swayback. For The Heyday.

That. Is. So. Full. Of. Win.

So, this all sounds super-fun, right?

And yes! It totally IS. But it also a TON of WORK.

We set the date now (5/5/2012), we start meetings in November, we work through the Spring getting all the details together, and April is PURE MADNESS.

800 people attend and we raise over $15,000 in one night.

With music.

With community.

Bonus: We show our kids that hard work pays off, and you can have fun doing it.


I SUPPORT MY SCHOOL… MY WAY! And I’m joining VolunteerSpot’s sponsored Back To School campaign to help raise visibility for parent involvement in schools.

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This article has 16 comments

  1. Carissa(GoodNCrazy)

    Oh my gosh.. Srsly I knew you did a cool thing with music, raised some money yada yada.. but.

    I mean.. BUT! Whoa?!

    This is the real deal. I agree:
    “We show our kids that hard work pays off, and you can have fun doing it. “

    Totally what it’s all about. Wow.

  2. Redneck Mommy

    that is SOOO beyond awesome. good for y’all. Mr. Lady, well she is just full of win. as are YOU.

  3. BusyDad

    This is one of the coolest things I have ever learned about, and I learn about a lot of cool things, including ninjas. I wish I were your neighbor.

  4. Connie Weiss

    You are THE coolest Mom I’ve ever met!

  5. Monika

    So happy I came to Tellerpalooza this last year! I loved watching the kids perform and they had SO much fun dancing to Monrore Monroe, Heyday and Petals of Spain.

    I already know that this next year will be just as much fun (I mean it *is* Cinco de Mayo after all).

    You guys rock!

  6. zenrain

    Wendy Woo just played at the Nic last week!!

  7. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    zenrain – no way! She is great!

    And thanks for all the support everyone!!!

  8. zipper

    this is aweosme Aimee. great job.

  9. monstergirlee

    You are so seriously awesome, Declan, and Teller are both lucky to have you.

    btw – I think it’s sad that you had to clarify “literally” in this post, very sad.

  10. Bess

    This is, by far, the coolest way to raise money for a school. LOVE TELLERPALOOZA! You guys do an amazing job! THANK YOU!

  11. Kristina

    We attended our first Tellerpalozza last year and it was awesome. I am so grateful that Teller has Aimee and so many other parents that put the FUN in fundraising.

  12. Kristina

    We attended our first Tellerpalozza last year and it was awesome. I am so grateful that Teller has Aimee and so many other parents that put the FUN in fundraising.

  13. FireMom

    This is awesome. Very awesome. Like beyond inspiring awesome. I wonder if you would share tips on how you go about this — not even specifically music but engaging other families and parents in such a big process. I bet others would be inspired.

    Because I am.

  14. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Thank you all so much! 🙂

    And Firemom, maybe I should do some more posts about this – but def check out Volunteer Spot’s blog and resources, they are a HUGE help! (and friends) 🙂

  15. Free Movies

    thats great you are playing your role!!

  16. Cheryl R.

    Are you kidding me? That is the COOLEST idea ever!

    My daughter (another Declan) is starting Kindergarten next week at a Seattle Public School that sounds a lot like Teller. I’m scared to death, and so excited at the same time.

    Very diverse student population, many (over 60%) of the kids come from non-native English speaking homes (Somali, Hispanic, SE Asian).

    The school has a sad little playground that is woefully in need of care/repair/replacement (once built, SPS doesn’t maintain their own school playgrounds – can you imagine?!).

    The classrooms could use a lot of work. The computers are 9,000 years old and of course made of non-awesome PC-ness. The school “R” is in need of paint and/or replacement, but SPS fired all of their facilities workers at the start of this past summer and “scabs” aren’t allowed to do such work.

    I could go on and on… and yet, I am excited about my daughter going to school there. I’m excited about being involved. I’m excited about what I can do, as a parent and member of this community, to make things better there for MY kid, and her classmates, the teachers, etc. I want to encourage other parents to get involved & get excited too.

    So, you’ve just given me the MOST excellent idea. And given the number of famous musicians who live in (or near) West Seattle, I can’t wait to get started.

    Thanks mama! You rock!

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