I met Mike at a Storytelling Festival in Tehran and I knew I had to bring him to Nairobi. Initially booked for 5 events across 5 days, Mike delivered exceedingly over and beyond what was expected of him. Not only was he a favourite during his interactive storytelling sessions, he had at least 3 other impromptu performances - alone and in collaboration with other festival artists. He even performed musical backup on his American mountain dulcimer during events for adult and family programs! I can say without a doubt that Mike was a major asset to our 2017 Storymoja Festival. I definitely want him to come back again - and hope to see him on many other storytelling stages around the world!
Wangari Grace, Producer - Storymoja Festival 2017 Children's Program
“Mike Lockett is one of the best storytellers we have had in the 18 years of our festival.” (Comment at additional special evening program Dr. Lockett gave at the festival)
“It’s obvious that this man knows how to talk to kids.”
"His specialty is to focus on the folk tales of America, including dialects, unusual language patterns, and regional vocabularies. The students were excited by his excellent presentations."
"Mike is a master at using vocal sound effects and dialects in his stories, but he also sings and plays the mountain dulcimer to entertain his audiences and draw them into the magical world of story."
"Mike Lockett's visit today was wildly successful; a hit with the children, teachers, FCS college students and our parents in attendance."
"When I attend your programs I get a double pleasure. Your presentations are most interesting, but the children’s reactions and undivided attention are a real joy to watch. Even in the present time of TV, iPads (or whatever), they are thoroughly engrossed in your performances. Their questions reflect that. I listen to you with my ears but can’t keep my eyes off the children."
"Dr. Lockett's tales contained wonderful messages, required audience participation and the use of imagination. Dr. Lockett shared interesting statistics and encouraging words with the parents regarding the importance of sharing time together and reading as a family."
"I remember your stories from Grant School in Chicago about ten years ago?" (remembering a tale during a college class where Dr. Lockett was an invited speaker)
"Dr. Lockett is about the best story teller around."
"My daughter listens to Dr. Lockett's CD over and over. I think she has every story memorized."
"My son goes to bed listening to Lockett's stories every night."
"Shhhhh! Maybe if we're quiet, he'll tell us a story again tomorrow!"
"I wasn't doing 'nothin' wrong . . . I was only listening so I could tell my brother a story at home." (Student caught hiding out behind library shelves during a storytelling program).
"Mr. Story, those were the best special effects I ever have seen!"
"You make a GREAT Santa Claus!"
"Watch a video of storytellers talking about Mike Lockett and his storytelling for churches!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWEpPzPLGtc
"Our students enjoyed the stories for their educational benefit as well as the humor that was meshed within the stories. Our staff was impressed enough to request them back for future assemblies." (referring to program by Mike Lockett and Vivian Carter)
“Mike Lockett came to the Cherry Valley Public Library to present storytelling to our Homeschool families. Mike kept the attention of all 30 kids! Everyone had a great time singing, listening, participating, and using their imagination. We would definitely recommend Mike to anyone looking for a professional and friendly storyteller.”
"I’ve had a number of comments today from Rotarians at last night’s dinner who really enjoyed your presentation. Several were amazed at how you could remember so many stories and relate them so effortlessly. Thanks for sharing your gift with us, and I’ve got your card. We’ll be in touch again in the future, I know Jim Paternoster (who is the library’s board president) was very interested in having you come up sometime during summer’s reading program."
"I want to let you know how much my residents enjoyed your presentation, July 5 on Strange but True Civil War Stories. If you are in the area again give me a call. Best Regards."
Mike, We loved having you. Your stories and songs were enjoyable for the children and adults in attendance. Thanks again. Marianne Stenzel, Talcott Library, Rockton, IL
"Just a note to say my grandson, age 2 LOVES Tales for the Young at Heart! We often pick him up just after he's waked up and he's still slightly groggy. For the 35 minute drive to our house, we put on the CD and he is mesmorized. He sometimes sings along. Sometimes identifies the animals. Sometimes says No,no to whatever "bad guy" he hears. It's pretty darn cute. Thank you so much for sharing the joy of good stories well told!"
"Dr. Lockett made the summer reading program "Read to the Rhythmn" come alive with the use of his vocal effects and musical talents with his mountain dulcimer. He entertained over 110 children with stories from his books and versions of many traditional nursery rhymes and tales. He brought a wealth of world wide travel experiences and stories full of joy, laughter, and enticingly good messages that kept the children of all ages and parents on the edge of their seats! He introduced them to many stories and characters and involved willing participants in his stories that both enticed and enchanted our listeners."
"Thank you so much for visiting and presenting at Luther Oaks Senior Living today. Residents really enjoyed your stories and music! I'll call you in a few months about planning another presentation."
"We wholeheartedly recommend Mike Lockett for your children and adult programs. Mike kept the attention of 26 children and almost twice as many adults. We had a fantastic time. I loved his singing and dulcimer playing as much as the fun, fun stories. Mike is a true professional and a lovely person."
"Thanks for coming to Putnam County Preschool, but especially for entertaining our little ones on Friday afternoon. We all enjoyed it, and I've heard many compliments. I hope we'll to have you come again."
"Thank you again for coming to our school and inspiring our students with positive messages, as well as our teachers! It was a pleasure to meet you and see your gift first hand. One of my teachers said, "Oh, he was so wonderful! Thank you so much for bring him into our school." One of the grandparents from the PreK program said: "That was the most wonderful preschool program I have ever been to! He was wonderful!"
"To Activity Planners: I would like to recommend Dr. Mike Lockett to you for dynamic and engaging programs for your facility/organization. Dr. Lockett has been presenting multi-faceted programs at McLean County Nursing Home for more than five years. Mike weaves stories, music, history and humor into his programs to keep his audiences engrossed in his presentations. In Dr. Lockett’s most recent program: Strange But True Civil War Stories, Mike was dressed in an authentic Union uniform and brought replicas of everything a soldier would need on the battlefield during the Civil War. He brought his 'strange but true' stories to life with facts, sound effects, and drama. All our residents and their guests were engrossed in the presentation. So, please call my friend Dr. Mike Lockett, when looking for a dynamic program with broad appeal."
"Barrington Middle School - Station Campus loved having Mike come and bring the Civil War to life for our kids. With his enthusiasm and engaging stories our students were left with a new appreciation for what life was like in the wartime 1860's. Mike has an incredible passion for storytelling and it is shown through his collection of Civil War era artifacts and equipment. We look forward to continuing our relationship in the future."
"Thank you so much for presenting your stories to our students. You are very talented, and the kids loved your energy. Thanks for helping us reward our students even more."
"Dear Dr. Lockett, Thank you for sharing your gift with our students at Central Park School. It is difficult to fins presenters that are willing to entertain pre-K tp 8th graders. You did not dissapoint !!! Your music, animal noises, audience participation stories were all so memorable. Our students were blown away by your talent. Our faculty and staff were blown away by your energy, and our familoes were literally blown away by your story of the lion's breath. The enthusiasm that you created hasn't ended. We thank you for being so accomodating to our needs."
"Dr. Lockett. Thank you for coming to our school to tell us stories. I love how you said that stories aren't just for children, that they are for teens, adults and elders as well... You are an amazing storyteller! Your stories made me laugh. But, the last story about the quilt and the teddy bear made me cry... It was fantastic how you made kids laugh who usuallty don't laugh. Also, when you played songs, you brightened up my day..."
"I really enjoyed sitting in on the ASCD conference session you gave, love your zest for life and your storytelling craft! I got a lot of tips for my "Grammie Goose" gig!! :-) ... We seem to both live our lives to the fullest with our hearts focused on making kids happy :-)"
"Thank you so much for coming to Montvale Estates to perform for our residents. Let us know when you are back in Springfield." (Montvale Estates is a Holiday Touch facility.)
Just wanted to give a shout out to Dr. Mike Lockett, the Normal Storyteller, who joined our Sophomore Oral Communications classes for a two-day workshop on how to tell stories and use storytelling in cross-discipline presentations. He was so easy to work with while setting up his visit, willing to collaborate with the content teacher to meet the needs of the curriculum and great with our high school students--who can be a bit reluctant to participate. He was willing to work within the parameters of the grant that provided for his visit, and just a super nice human being."
This is a sample of our high school student feedback, which was overwhelmingly positive. "He was awesome." "His workshop in the library was cool." "I thought he was entertaining and very passionate." "I did learn some helpful tips on how to memorize things and give speeches." "I also liked how he taught the class the mechanics of telling a story. That, I expect, will be very helpful for the future." "It was refreshing to have someone like that in the building." "I thought Dr. Lockett was an amazing storyteller. He did a good job of engaging his audience and made the stories fun for everyone." "He shared with us some great stories that taught a lesson but also kept your full attention." "He brought others into his stories so that they were able to learn what it was like to perform and everyone seemed to have a good time." "He did a good job of using a wide variety of stories that were funny, insightful and sad." "The advice he gave on telling and learning stories was interesting and actually helpful, and I will remember those for future reference." "I would highly recommend Dr. Lockett for any age group. (Really, if he can engage high school sophomores, whom can't he entertain?)
"Mike was extremely professional, and did a great job with the children. His attention to detail, both in the Santa costume, as well as how he treated each child as an individual, was excellent. All of the kids loved getting to spend time with Santa, and he made each and every one of them feel special!!" (About Mike as Santa Claus)
"You look great as Santa, Mike. I saw the picture in The Pantagraph of you aboard the ladder truck. Hohoho. Everyone with whom I spoke said that you were Santa. It can't get much better than that. Thanks for taking on this giant task. I really appreciate your coming to my and our clients' rescue. Once you've done the Santa thing, you begin to understand the enormous responsibility with which it comes. Kids' beliefs depend on Santa. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!" (About Mike as Santa Claus)
"Dear Mike, Thank you for today. You have done more than what I have expected. The parents and children had fun, and so did we!" (Dr. Lockett did two programs in two locations for KinderMusic in Taiwan. He has been invited back to do more program because of the success of these programs.).
"Dear Grandpa Mike, we all enjoyed your stories so much especially that ghost story. My baby girl enjoyed your stories too. She kept on moving in my tummy during your workshop. All of us have learned so much today. I'll start to tell stories to her from now. She'll be listening to your story CDs and watching your DVDs soon. We all love you so much too!! Can't wait to see you again. Please come and visit us more often! God bless you and your family."
"Every once in a while, you sit in a storytelling session, mesmerized by the atmosphere created by the storyteller and don't want it to end. Mike Lockett is one storyteller that I never wanted the story to end. No matter how many times I have heard his story, I am always fascinated by his voice, his gestures, his music, his story and his personal charisma."
"Every once in a while, you sit in a storytelling session, mesmerized by the atmosphere created by the storyteller and don't want it to end. Mike Lockett is one storyteller that I never wanted the story to end. No matter how many times I have heard his story, I am always fascinated by his voice, his gestures, his music, his story and his personal charisma."
"Your CD is wonderful...... You have definitely created an award winning piece."
"Your storytelling at TIBE (The Taiwan Book Fair) was a big success. It was a full house, even the floor was packed with kids sitting around on the ground."
"Your enthusiasm, the dialects, the humor, and the participatory nature of your stories made the night a hit!" (Comments about Stories by Starlight Program)
"In the midst of storms last night, we had to go to the basement. Instead of being afraid, our sons were having a blast walking around singing songs like the river spirits from Anansi in your CD!" (His sons are proud owners of all four of Dr. Lockett's CDs).
I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed your CDs. The stories are so energizing (for me), You have made encouraged me to try different approaches to telling stories. The ones I have told of yours have been so well received. I do thank you!
"If you're looking for an excellent program, senior citizens will enjoy, I highly recommend Dr. Michael Lockett. Here at Blair House Independent Living in Normal, Illinois, we have enjoyed hearing Civil War Stories, Irish Stories, Stories Behind the Hymns, Christmas Stories and other programs by Dr. Lockett/ Residents always enjoy his programs."
"Thank you so much for the incredibly engaging storytelling program. The students enjoyed it so much. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to present it to us."
"I really enjoyed you coming to shary stories with us. Thank you so much for the amazing stories. Each one put a smile on my face - to hear a new story with a new voice. I really enjoyed it. Thank you very, very, very, very much, I'm very happy."
"You are masterful at connecting with your audiences. It must be gratifying to see the responses to your art. I am honored that you chose to share your talends to highlight Home Sweet Home Ministries."
"Mike, you did such a great job with our Harristown kids when you were telling stories to us. The kids loved your stories and they love your books. You are doing the right things for our children ,and it shows in the love you have for books, storytelling and children."
We want to thank you again for coming to visit with us and for leading a storytelling workshop for many of our church members while you were in Hawaii. We were so blessed! Thank you so much.
"It was wonderful to see you in Taipei. Your books and performances really inspire and entertain not only children but also adults including myself. I have been thankful to have opportunities to promote Grandpa Mike in Taiwan in the past years. Please keep me updates of your forthcoming visits to Taiwan. I will keep working to introduce your storytelling and books to local libraries, schools, teachers and other potential buyers."
"I had the privilege of watching you share your storytelling this afternoon at the KRA conference. I wanted to let you know how wonderful your presentation was at the close of the conference! You are a marvelous performer and can instantly capture the audience in your spell. You have inspired me to start practicing and sharing stories again! Thank you so much for sharing your love of students and stories! You gave me a smile as I drove home."
"I just wanted to extend a very warm thank you from the Kentucky Reading Association for participating in our Author/Illustrator Reception and Panels as part of the Annual Conference. You helped to make it a wonderful event and we appreciate your time and support!"
"I was here at Blair House yesterday, our new home of about two months. I was looking around at my new neighbors and found them happily watching your program. I can say that every one of them fell in love with your act... Especially me!... You've developed a unique program that appeals to all ages. Thank you for a delightful performance." Blair House is a Holiday Touch retirement facility.)
"Thank you for a fantastic program of telling the 'Strange-But-True Stories of the Civil War.' Those attending thoroughly enjoyed your program. I had wonderful comments about your stories. You held the audience enthralled. and the additional bonus of displaying the memorabilia and incorporating various pieces into your storytelling made history come alive for those who attended! Thank you for adding such a wonderful dimension to our programming! "
"You did a great job as emcee of the concerts at the Christian Storytelling Conference! We enjoyed your presentations."
"I appreciate everything that you did to help us drive our campaign here at our Macy's store for Reading is Fundamental. Words cannot say or express enough how thankful that I am. All of our associates and many of our customers were just completely baffled and amazed at your wonderful talent that you posess. So many people in this world do not put their heart and soul into what they do. After seeing you perform each day that you were here I can definately tell that not only do you take your profession very seriousely, you put your hear and soul into what you do. Individuals like yourself who reflect this quality into their work, pass on a reflection to others of what true happiness and dedication is."
"Watch out for this Lockett fellow! He has a gleeful way of sending you home with a pocket full of stories and a bag full of CDs! Teaching at telling on the beach to a Story Camp or at the National Storytelling Conference (LA), I've seen him do it! Hear this warning when you give him your ear! Smiling back, Aloha, Jeff."
"We enjoyed having you here at Silverdale Baptist Academy. I spoke with you about the possibility of your returning to our school for our Arts Festival... we would so love to have you back. We didn't get to enjoy you long enough today."
"The highlight of my day was taking my children to see my all-time favorite storyteller, Dr. Mike Lockett. I am SO glad the Morton Library marquis flashed that event as I drove past this morning! As excellent a performance as I remember from the way-back times."
"The school is abuzz about your visit yesterday. The kids are all excited as are the teachers. I already have two of your books checked out to classroom teachers, and it's only 8:10 A.M. I want to thank you personally for all that you do to spread the important message about reading, speaking, listening and writing."
"I have listened to you tell stories in groups from preschool age to adults, and I have yet to see any of the crowd (especially myself) not mesmerized. I have 2 of your CD's myself." (after scout event)
My mind was spinning at 1:00 this morning so I got up and took down my now brittle Christmas tree. I put on your CD and Oh, was I so blessed. I loved the stories and your heartfelt renditions. Thank you so much! I am highly impressed with who you are and all you have done.
"I am the librarian at Olympia South Elementary and I just wanted to share with you that your books were purchased when you visited our students last year, and they are never on our shelves! The students love reading them and request them all the time! Thank you so much for providing such engaging reading material!"
"Dear Mike, I went to Guangming Primary School in Hsinchu to listen to your storytelling seminar. It was great to listen to you. You are really a master. I have long been thinking about how to perfect my teaching skills, and now I find the key after I heard and saw what you have shown us. You have opened my eyes. Thank you. May God bless you and your work."
"We so enjoyed your visit to Erie, Illinois! The children loved you! The staff had ALL positive and exciting things to say about you! Thank you so much for coming! It was a great experience for Erie Elementary, Erie Preschool, and the Staff at the Erie Schools!"
"We want to express our appreciation for the workshop you did for us on Telling Stories to Children. You drew an enthusiastic audience. Most of them signed up for our newly formed Storytelling Guild. Your workshop was certainly a significant spark in what we hope will be a storytelling explosion here. As one participant commented, 'This opened up a whole new world for me.'" (Following Dr. Lockett's appearance at the Cumberland Mountain Storytelling Festival)
"Our youngest learners on campus at ISU Childcare Center had a GREAT experience today with Master Storyteller Mike Lockett--- "The Normal Storyteller" and honored ISU Alum from 1972. He played the dulcimer, harmonica, told stories and sang songs with the kids. After his presentation, when I told the children I purchased his storytelling CD for the Center, they literally broke out jumping up and clapping! He certainly struck a chord with them all. ... I just wanted everyone to know that Mike Lockett's visit today was wildly successful; a hit with the children, teachers, FCS college students and our parents in attendance."
"Thanks so much for the great storytelling at Bloomington Public Library! The storytelling of the Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare” was delightful! The children were enthralled, and your use of the puppets and your voice to convey the “action”, made the kids feel as if they were the only ones “in on the secret” about how the story would end. Many thanks for your contribution to the Louisa May Alcott program series. Your ability to research and use your teaching background shine through in your presentations, making for meaningful encounters for all ages."
"Your stories saved the day. School was out and ... Our whole family has been enjoying your stories. - I know I keep saying that over and over. It means a lot to me to find something my children (especially the 3 younger ones) can do together without fighting.
"Dr. Mike Lockett always has a historical anecdote to share. His stories are, as he often explains of the strange but true variety that causes his listener's eyes to open wide in anticipation of a surprise ending. He plucks his dulcimer absently as he spins the tale and glances up to gauge the effect on the listener as the story winds down to its conclusion. He takes a quiet moment to strum a mournful chorus of "Rally Round the Flag, Boys" As he gazes off into the distance, then turns back and asks with a twinkle in his eye, "Have you heard the one about . . . ?" If you have the opportunity to listen to some of Mike's stories, by all means take it." (This comment followed Dr. Lockett's keynote address in Springfield, IL for their National Conference Luncheon.)
"Thank you for coming to our school and telling us Civil War Stories. The stories were really interesting. I had not heard any of them before." Note: Dr. Lockett has been asked by teachers to tell Civil War stories for FIVE years in a row for fifth graders. Contact teachers at Prairieland for references.
"I enjoyed listening to your presentation at the Illinois ASCD Kindergarten Conference. It was entertaining. I really like how your books are dual language and they have the cd story with them.Thanks again for speaking at the conference. I look forward to seeing you at the 2012 conference."
"Dr. Lockett's stories were weird and funny at the same time. The stories were really fun to listen to!" AND "I liked the sound effects and how they added to the stories that I've heard before. I liked the way Dr. Lockett changed the stories and gave me a different way of thinking about them, It made them fun to hear!" AND "The stories were really good because stories were really good because Dr. Lockett had a way of making them come alive."
"My name is Kate Schnelker-Parks, Event Facilitator for Illinois ASCD. On behalf of the association, I would like to thank you for your work with us during the 2011 Pre-K/Kindergarten Conference in March.There was a great response from the participants and we have you to thank for the success of the conference. With that, we would like to invite you to present at next year's conference." (Dr. Lockett was unable to appear at the 2012 conference. He was a featured speaker again in 2013.)
Thank you, thank you for your wonderful storytelling session at Michian Reading Association. It was a joy to be in your session and actively participate with your engaging stories. I listened to your CD on the way home and particularly enjoyed The Little Red Hen and The Squeaky Door. I'll recommend your CD to my storytelling class at Eastern Michigan University. (Reference followed Michigan Reading Conference)
"I am a teacher's aide at Webster School. I thought that your performance was wonderful. I find the way that you slipped in the messages of practicing to make yourself better was beneficial for the students. Thanks for coming and sharing your stories."
"Thank you so much for coming to perform at our homeschool co-op. It is a real treal to experience your storytelling. You were able to captivate our pre-K studentds and adult teachers simultaneously. As a Christian organization, I greatly appreciated how you wove the gospel into your presentation. You are a gifted and talented man & I am thankful that you shared what God has given you with our students."
"Several people stopped me to tell me how much they enjoyed your presentation." (Illinois ASCD Leadership Training Conference, Galena, IL)
"Enjoyed your presentation at the YES preconference. Thanks for sharing so much and so many valuable resources on your website. What a wonderful conference we had! As a board member, I am delighted and thrilled. As a storyteller, I'm still blissed and blessed. Kudos to all who helped make it (The National Storytelling Conference) so successful. That included you." (YES = Youth, Educators and Storytellers)
"I always like a good story that teaches the value of friendships. This book does just that. Even as an adult, we can learn the lessons here. Recently I was a little annoyed by an innocent habit of a friend. Then I read this book, and realized the message was not just for children, but for me. Thanks, I needed that.!"
"Thank you again for the wonderful experiences you provided our students on Monday. The children, teachers and parents are still talking about your talent for involving and entertaining them all. I look forward to seeing you again."
“What a wonderful presentation! Our teachers and students were "Wowed" by your stories and your storytelling skills. Thank you! The classroom presentations were especially enjoyable for our boys and girls. We look forward to your return to our school."
"Thank you once again for presenting at this year's Great Lakes Conference. Without knowlegable presenters such as yourself, we could not possibly offer our conference. Evaluations of 4.93 out of 5.0 for the overall quality of Dr. Lockett's presentation, including his effectiveness and to hold the interest of the attendees)
"We have received the book order (the teachers were so happy). Thank you again for a wonderful asembly that was absolutely perfect for 3-6 year olds. The students really enjoyed themselves." (The teachers at New Lenox were among the first to be able to purchase Dr. Lockett's new books.)
"Thanks for having Dr. Lockett come today. He was an awesome storyteller, and my kids loved it! We actually came back down and read our story "From Head to Toe" by Eric Carl during reading and then made up our own story motions like Dr. Lockett did with us today to go along with the story. He really showed that there are so many ways to incorporate different reading strategies in the classroom, too by taking opportunities for certain books to change them into stories of our own in the classroom. It was fun to have the kids involved in helping make a story. I just wanted to say thanks for having him come in." (note to principal from teacher after student assembly)
"Dr. Lockett is a natural at not only connecting with kids, but also at establishing a passion for stories within young learners in an inspiring and animated way! He puts forth no effort to disguise his love of words as he intertwines values and lessons in his storytelling approach."
"Congratulations on being the ONE person selected to represent your region in the ALL REGIONS Concert for the NAtional Storytelling COnference. We are very proud to share your work!" (Dr. Lockett represented the Mid-West at a National Storytelling Concert in CA)
"This workshop was very instructional. The topic was great! Bring him back!"
"Thanks for making the Bible come alive for us."
"I want you to know how much we appreciated your fantastic program." (Note: Second program in two years)
"Everything ran so smoothly. The children of all ages enjoyed your songs and storytelling! I can't tell you how much your part helped maintain structure & the many smiles on the children's faces when you greeted them."
"Just a note to say thank you. We loved your stories and truly enjoyed the fellowship. We can't pay you what it was worth to us, but we pray God will continually bless you. "
"You have been an amazing blessing not only to the adults but also to the children and teens at our Taiwan Missionary Fellowship Conference. In my opinion you and John have helped make this conference the best one ever."
"This week will be a pivotal point in my ministry. We got a BIG dose of storytelling and we were shown how we can teach Bible storytelling. I believe it will be a dynamic much used of God for discipleship."
"What a delight and blessing you have brought us this week. Thanks so much for all your stories, instruction and vision-casting. (Note: Mike was invited back again in January, 2010.)
"Mike Lockett had our summer reading program youth (pre-K - 5th) laughing and telling stories with him and their full attention! He is a master storyteller who weaves each audience member into his tales through audience participation. What a wonderful central Illinois treasure we have. Keep sharing your stories and talent, Dr. Lockett."
"Your presence and wonderful storytelling made a huge hit at all levels here. We find so many references to your stories in our lives here, and students beg to have you come back."
"Your program was wonderful. We enjoyed your dynamic stories and words of wisdom. We appreciated your visit - talent, stories, dulcimer playing, and resident involvement."
"You were an absolute joy to watch at the NCSS conference! You are an inspiration to teachers everywhere. Thank you for sharing your gift."
"Mike, You truly are a gift to the children of the world. I hope you realize how special you are."
"Brother"In the storytelling world, only a few performers have the mimetic gift to create vocal effects that transport and entertain the listener. Mike Lockett, although he is The Normal Storyteller, is supra-normal when it comes to this art form. A master of sound effects." (In response to Mike's family performance at the Three Apples Storytelling Festival in Bedford, MA)
"Dr. Lockett's performance was very professional and well received by our patrons, so I have no hesitation recommending his services to others. In addition to his prompt and professional demeanor, Dr. Lockett's performance was varied and engaging. He was able to hold the attention of even the youngest members for the full length of his performance without losing the interest of the adults. The stories were a broad sampling of traditional folktales complete with varied use of voices as well as audience participation. Many of the children were also impressed with his use of the dulcimer and incorporation of song into the stories. Based on our library's experience, any organization would be pleased with the performance and professional dealings with Dr. Lockett, The Normal Storyteller."
"Mike Lockett has become a favorite storyteller at our church, especially with our Awana kids. The kids literally gasp with delight when they see him come in the door and say, "The Storyteller!" I highly recommend Dr. Lockett for storytelling."
"One of the things I love most about Mike is his way of drawing you into a tale. He is an expert at building the suspense in a story up to a cymbal-crashing crescendo. He can also make the most serious of listeners double over in full-bellied laughter. In addition, Mike builds in the element of participation into almost every tale he tells. The young and the young at heart are more than eager to jump in and play a part. The real story often begins with the spark Mike ignites in the mind of his listener." *From National Storytelling Conference)
"To make those stories in a high speed world where entertainment sound bites fly at you a dozen a minute, he uses old-fashioned fun and well-honed honest talent, singing barbershop music, imitating sounds of nature, adding music to help the tale. In his denim clothes and straw hat, he's the image of a farmhand, wire rim glasses on a delightful cherry face and hands that move constantly during presentations at schools, churches, workshops and libraries."
"It was our pleasure to have Dr. Michael Lockett with us for a day. Dr. Lockett told stories to the Sunday School classes, delivered the message during our morning Worship service, and returned to present a program in the evening. His skillful weaving of stories, both secular and religious, was well received by all of our youngsters, from pre-school to those well into their eighties. His entire presentation was suitable for a mixed-age audience and contained absolutely no objectionable material. His ability to slip into character helped make the stories come alive and his interaction with the audience, especially the young children, made the stories come to life. )Note: Dr. Lockett was invited back again in 2008.)
"There is probably no other person who shared as much as you during the five days of The Festival & brought so much joy as a result. Your talents, support & friendship are truly appreciated." - Dr. Lockett entertained during five days of the Baby Fold Festival of Trees with an extensive amount of storytelling, and with vocal music with his Barbershop quartet.
Your wealth of knowledge helped make "Spring into Training" a huge success!
"I had a great opportunity enjoying your storytelling training class which was held by East-West Books. You are really an amazing and wonderful storyteller. Thank you sooooooo much for what you have done to (for) Taiwan and to me. I learned a lot and I tried to tell stories to my little boy... Please keep on what you are doing to (for) the children and parents in the world. You are giving us a better world, and that's beautiful. Thank you!" (Note - The workshop was in 2005. This letter was in 2007.)
"I received nothing but positive comments from students and staff regarding you and your presentation. THANK YOU! You know how difficult it is to have an assembly EVERYONE likes."
"Mike, I enjoyed the recent Pantagraph article about your storytelling activities in your retirement. It brought to mind that storytelling was a part of your teaching, as evidenced by our son Andy, who was a student of yours in his 4th grade year. Andy would tell us from time to time how much he enjoyed your storytelling because it helped him to remember facts in the lesson. Good luck in your "new" old endeavors."
"Brother, You stole our dialect, and you did it better than we do." (In response to listening to Mike tell his Caribbean version of a story at the Sharing the Fire Conference in New Hampshire)
The 2007 IRC Conference can be hailed as a success, and you were a part of the excellent programming. Our attendance at the conference was over 2900. We appreciate your willingness to share your expertise with fellow teachers and administrators.
"I have nothing but rave reviews!!! I asked for a little feedback (from the staff) and received wonderful comments. I only wish I could have been at more of the sessions. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
"Thank you, thank you, thank YOU! It was my great honor to talk to you and learn from you during your visit (to Taiwan). You have no ideas how touched I was when I was listening to your stories, watching you having fun and observing how you treated each person so nicely! I know it takes a lot of love and belief to do what you did for us!"
"Dear Dr. Lockett, On behalf of the hundreds of students who had the privilege of hearing you share your wonderful stories today, thank you so much. We a appreciate your time and energy in making oral tradition come alive."
"Our third grade teacher was thoroughly impressed by your presentation to her students. You captured and held their attention for the full hour and fifteen minutes, and they had a great time listening and asking questions. The fact that you told historical fistionstories about people who actually lived in McLean County helped her to address these (Illinois State Standards for social science) standards as well as several language arts standards. The students were completely enthralled and couldn't stop talking about your stories. Even today, the students were recalling parts of the stories and songs they heard yesterday."
"The storytelling enticed and enchanted the students. The children were actively listening and participating in the assembly."
"Thank you for enchanting the Book Island Readers at Parlin-Ingersoll Public Library with stories from around the world. You made the summer reading theme come alive for the children by discussing islands and involving them in the dialogue. I watched the children's faces as you told the stories. They were mesmerized by your voice and the expressions on your face. Thanks for sharing your talent with us."
We received very good evaluations- averaged out at 9.89 out of 10 almost perfect- I am very happy to have received such a great score!! You are so good for all ages!! And that is proof!! Thanks again for beginning the Rock Island Trail Storytelling Festival with such success- we did have a great day!
"Thank you for such a worthwhile and rewarding afternoon for the students at Hudson Elementary School!"
"I enjoyed every word of every story on your new CD and it let me travel to so many lands with my imagination. A great talent - sharing story with the whole world."
I wanted to thank you very much for the wonderful CD ....it has been very enjoyable to listen to. I have been playing it in the evening when I'm cooking dinner; my family has been coming into the kitchen and enjoying it with me! (Imagine 2 teenagers and a seven year old plus their father all gathered around the table so they can listen to the stories with me.) That definitely says something positive...you are a wonderful storyteller and easily catch the attention of others! I will definitely keep you in mind whenever the need arrives for a performer. Thanks again!
"I consider myself a very 'picky' audience, and yet you captivated me from the very first story! Your talents include seamless storytelling, a wonderful flair for voices and sound effects, and child-like enthusiasm that is downright infectious!"
"The program last Wed. went above and beyond my expectations--and basic needs for the course. Already, we've talked about storytelling and students have referenced methods of storytelling in their writing."
"We thoroughly enjoyed your program! It just can't be said enough! You met all our expectations and went beyond. The messages to our parents and teachers in between your stories helped tie our program into a great present for all those that attended. It was a pleasure to host you."
"I truly enjoyed Dr. Lockett! He was very inspirational and encouraging and uplifting, etc. etc. He really captures everyone! His message and the way he presented it sent us out inspired and on our way!" (comment from program evaluation for Peoria County Educators' Professional Day, March 15, 2002)
"Mike's storytelling motivates students to read more because it makes books come alive in the students. Students look at reading in a different light after hearing Dr. Lockett's stories." (Part of nomination for the 'Those Who Excel' in Education award for Illinois Administrators. Dr. Lockett won the award as Administrator of the Year in Peoria in 2001 and won honors at the state level as a school administrator.)
"I have seen him (Dr. Lockett) have an entire gymnasium full of students 'in the palms of his hands.' His presentations skillfully combine suspense, humor and anticipation. I have never before seen an individual presenter mesmerize an entire student body for the length of time he is speaking. (Regarding National Library Week program for approximately 325 at-risk middle school students)
"The evening was a success! The library has never been so full of parents, students and staff. The children still ask about you. You made a great impression."