It was my first large concert, and I was petrified.

I stood on a stage with my singing partner Jim Duchesneau. There were 1,000 in front of us – most of them children. But once the music played behind me, I got into the groove and decided to have fun! After all, I had played at hundreds of schools, and this was no different, just more kids! The audience was rocking, and it was a wonderful show. It was the first of many professional shows played across Canada in large theatres and concert halls. And I also did solo concerts later.

You may wonder how I became a kids’ singer, songwriter, instructor, then performer. I had started singing in my daughter’s nursery school, which became jobs at libraries, day camps and other nursery schools. I was a troubadour, taking my rhythm instruments, guitar, ukulele and puppets to many places. Though I was having so much fun, so were the kids and in my 23 years of working with children, I witnessed so many benefits of music for children. You can find scores of scientific papers on the internet about how children’s brains, intelligence and bodies can develop and benefit from hearing music, singing, and dancing. Here are some of them:

  1. Music can help develop children’s creativity and imagination.
  2. Songs can teach important values like kindness and respect.
  3. Singing together can help build social skills and teamwork!
  4. Music can help children understand their emotions. (I use songs such as Listen to Me, I’m Still OK and I’m Scared)
  5. Children’s songs can teach important lessons about friendship and community.
  6. Music is a fun way to learn about different cultures and traditions.
  7. When we encourage children to dance to their favourite songs, it’s a fun exercise – such as my upbeat songs, Feel the Music! Pterodactyl Rock and Crazy Beat.
  8. Singing songs can help children develop language and communication skills!
  9. Music can help children develop confidence and self-esteem.
  10. Singing together is a fun way to bond as a family!

I’ve written children’s songs to aspire to those values. I created and gave programs for ECE undergraduates to teach them how to use music to engage children and enliven their creativity, mood, and engagement with others. I also created and gave workshops for Faculties of Education at Universities.

I want to share this valuable information with teachers or parents of young children- kindergarten to grade 2, ECE educators, and even those who home school. Also, other children’s performers may be interested in engaging children in many important ways. If you’re interested, send me your email, I’m planning a short workshop series for those who want to learn about Sparking Creativity in Children Through Music and the Arts. There will be many resources for you and a “how to list.