Tell us about your music:
My goal is to make children’s music that can be equally enjoyable to both parents and kids. I aspire to do this by “smartening up,” as opposed to “dumbing down,” the music I make. Catchy melodies, smart songwriting, and fun lyrics are among the tools I use to do this. I have a background that includes both educational training and a successful career as a mainstream recording artist, and the combination of the two skill-sets has served me well with accomplishing these goals.
About your songs (e.g., any unique instruments used, the origins of the lyrics, what inspired you, etc.):
I originally wrote this song when asked to play a “teddy bear hootenanny” themed show. The song is recorded with an intentionally acoustic based, folk sound. The chorus includes a simple audience response, with the kids and their parents completing the sentences with “chocolate cake” and “hootenanny.” This encourages both audience participation while engaging the kids to be specifically tuned into the words, which is an excellent early learning skill. The verses elicit large motor movements, with hands in the air in one verse, and pointer fingers in the other. This kind of direct physical response is one that I’ve found to be very effective with engaging younger audiences.
The one unusual instrument we used on this song was a penny whistle, played in a silly way between some of the sections. It’s a fun and interesting sound that we hoped would catch the ears of our listeners.
What you hope children & families will get from this song:
As noted above, audience participation both with the singing and the hand movements. Mostly importantly, it’s a sweet song that seems to make people happy. Honestly, at the end of the day, what more could you really ask from a song?!