The Mr. Gym Band
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The Mr. Gym Band

Cromwell, Connecticut, United States | SELF

Cromwell, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic




"Children's musician 'Mr. Gym' gets kids to move and grove"

There’s nothing better than getting to do what you love for work - and when it incorporates two of your passions, it’s all the better.

Chris Keithan, a.k.a. “Mr. Gym,” gets to do just that. With a love of both sports and music, Keithan works during the school year as a physical education teacher and spends his summers on the road, bringing music and movement to kids as a children’s musician.

Keithan recently brought his act to Manchester’s Whiton Memorial Library on July 28, motivating kids to get up and move, playing a variety of instruments and singing some catchy songs that are toe-tapping fun for young kids.

With 10 years of experience working with elementary-school-aged children, Keithan knows how important it is to stay active, and he delivers this message in each performance to an audience that responds with great energy and enthusiasm.

“It’s essentially a gym class on the road, and an extension of my job during the school year,” said Keithan. And, with 45 minutes of physical activity, it’s definitely a workout.

Keithan also manages to explain some basics about the instruments he plays and weave in entertaining jokes along the way, all the while staying focused on instructing the kids’ movements.

“This is a second job for me and a fun hobby. I get to interact and connect with the kids. Music is a universal language and it lends itself to instant activity,” said Keithan. “Movement, exercise and music blend together naturally.”

With 50 shows booked over eight weeks this summer, some of which have extended out of state, “Mr. Gym” isn’t slowing down any time soon. In fact, his hobby is growing and expanding. The “Mr. Gym Band” has been in the studio recording a new CD, and you can listen for free at the website, Keithan and his music can also be found on
- Reminder News

"Kids Rock Out with Mr. Gym at Library"

Singing, dancing, instruments and amplifiers – they would all fit right in at a concert. But do they belong at a library?

You may not think so. After all, libraries are typically viewed as havens of silence and decorum. Yet those things were, in fact, at a library-sponsored event in the Oxford Town Hall’s community room last week. On Feb. 24, Cromwell resident Chris Keithan performed a lively concert as Mr. Gym for close to 40 children and adults.

While playing a variety of instruments, Keithan sang original songs aimed at spreading the joys of physical fitness, a topic that is an important part of his life. Keithan’s regular job is as a physical education teacher for preschool – second grade students at Birch Grove Primary School in Tolland.

“This show is my gym class on the road,” Keithan said. “It’s music-based movement for kids.”

However, a visit from Keithan is nothing like a visit from the usual gym teacher. Sure, he wears the stereotypical sweatbands, shorts and what he calls a “zebra shirt” – a black-and-white striped referee shirt. But he’s got a special accessory that none of my gym teachers ever had: red Converse sneakers.

There’s magic in those shoes. When he puts them on his feet, “I turn into Mr. Gym,” he said, citing the label he was first given by one of his preschool students.

Mr. Gym hopes to convey the importance of fitness, but to some kids, the word “exercise” is as exciting as “vegetables” or “homework.” For these children, exercise is just another chore that has to be done because adults say so.

Mr. Gym changes that mindset. He never forces children to exercise. Instead, his songs carry energy so infectious that kids can’t help but move.

At the concert, attendees got quite a workout. They stretched, walked, and kicked up their heels during “Moving in Place.” For “Train,” children imitated both the jumpy chugging of a bumping locomotive and the quiet snoring of a sleeping train. Then, as Mr. Gym performed “Knee Slappin,'” a 4-year-old girl flapped her arms so hard that I half expected her to float into the air.

Even the shyer children at the edges of the action couldn’t keep still. A 2-year-old girl bounced up and down in her father’s arms. Another toddler rocked his infant sister’s carrier to the rhythm of the music. The room was filled with children who were exercising. Yet if you had asked what they were doing, it’s more likely that they would have just said they were having fun.

A sample of that fun is available to families who missed the show. Mr. Gym’s 2008 CD Freeze Dance can be purchased on his website, as well as and iTunes. Fans can also look out for Mr. Gym’s upcoming projects, such as a CD by the new Mr. Gym Band made up of Keithan and three fellow teachers.

Keithan dreams of one day creating a children’s book on CD, making a workout video and starring in children’s music videos on Nickelodeon’s TV network for preschoolers, Nick Jr. The Oxford concert-goers who got autographs clearly should hang on to them.

Mr. Gym’s concert was a prime example of what a library contributes to the community. Too often, people confine the concept of a library to a quiet place housing books. In reality, libraries are centers of information where patrons can be exposed to new experiences and ideas, including the ideas that a gym teacher can be a rock star and that physical fitness can be just as enjoyable as it is important.

So yes, singing, dancing, instruments and amplifiers belong at a concert. But sometimes, they belong at a library, too.
- Patch- Oxford CT

"Mr. Gym Gets Kids Moving with Music"

Chris Keithan, aka "Mr. Gym", a musician, children's songwiter, and singer from Cromwell, used his music to to get chidren moving at the Whiton Memorial Library auditorium on Thursday afternoon.

A gym teacher with a master degree, Keithan has been touring the state this summer motivating children to be physically active. An additional performace was scheduled for Thursday evening at the Mary Cheney Library. The orange shirts are part of the Manchester Public Library Summer Reading Program for children.
- Patch-Manchester CT

"School Age Kids"

“Mr. Gym was awesome! He has a really cool guitar. He taught us how to bounce like rock stars and how to slide like them. We even had a chance to try his djembe drum. Mr. Gym was so cool…it was like having our very own like “Guitar Hero”. We can’t wait for Mr. Gym to come back.” - Clinton Child Care Services, CT

"The SEPTA Board"

“What a delight ~ a noisy gym filled with smiling families all enjoying the music and motion show.” - Special Education Parent Teacher Association Tolland CT

"Lindsey Conlon, Kindergarten Teacher"

“The boys and girls in kindergarten really enjoyed their experience with Mr. Gym. It was a perfect balance of music and physical activity. Mr. Gym was also very enthusiastic and wonderful with the children. We would love to have him visit our classroom again sometime!!” - Apple Tree Children’s Center- Avon, Ct


Freeze Dance- CD/EP released October 2008



The Mr. Gym Band is a group of teachers who really know how to ROCK! Their movement based music gets kids up and active on the first note.

The band is made up a music teacher, history teacher, and two PE teachers. When school vacations come around Mr. Gym and his band hit the road and jam out at theaters, libraries, rec centers, festivals, and special occasions.

Chris Keithan aka "Mr. Gym" is a certified PE/Health teacher with a masters degree and has over 15 year of experience work with elementary age children.

The Mr. Gym Band is currently in the studio recording a new album which will be out in the Spring of 2012.