Thursday, April 18, 2013
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Thursday, April 22, 2010
What's My Inspiration for Writing Children's Music?
I will be performing at the OK Children's Fest this year. They asked me to share what inspires me to write music. Over the years many parents of young Music with Marnie Fans have asked me the same question.
Whenever I write music for children, I simply jump into the life of a child and write about the things they like – puddles, firefighters, ladybugs, and more. I always feel that children learn through play! I’ve never been one for writing moralistic songs, but instead I take what they like and make it fun.... and in turn - educational! Children are my biggest inspiration; just spending time with them I can see what really makes them shine!
The band plays everything from disco to reggae and rock. The short and simple songs are usually composed by me. They often become the favourite of little ones, as they love the repetition and silliness and perhaps the least favourite of parents as they can’t get the songs out of their heads. ;-) My band deserves a lot of credit for creating melodies that the parents can groove to. For example, I often come with a stack of lyrics and say, ‘I’d like this song to have a punk sound and this to have a reggae sound,’ etc., and within minutes they’ll create what I want and more. Other times I will sit with Eduardo, my drummer, and he and I will work out tunes together. He’s been with me for 10 years as a band member and as the engineer and co-producer of my 3 albums and my upcoming album.
One last person to thank for my music and for the lyrics is my husband, Kevin. Many times he’s spontaneously written a song for me. If I remember correctly, I Yi Yippee was written when I stubbed my toe. He just happened to be playing the guitar and started to sing a silly response to me as I was holding my toe and yelping. Like a child, I soon forgot about the pain and he and I sat down and completed the tune.
The last thing, with almost each and every song, is including actions! Before I even sang to children, I always marvelled at the reaction children had to any kind of music – they just naturally wanted to move - because of this, I incorporated actions into most of our songs! Back in the 1990’s, many children and parents were having fun moving and grooving to my music. This was looong before the big push for TV shows and schools to get children physical! To me it just made sense – if children want to move – let them move and have fun doing it! At our shows, there’s no pressure for kids to boogie, but if they want to, the opportunity is there! Music and movement is not only beneficial to children’s physical and mental health but at a Music with Marnie Show it is welcomed full heartedly!
So there you go … that’s how it’s done and it’s working out great --- I think it will only continue that way and hopefully get better and better each time!
It’s a fun and fulfilling path and with thanks to the children and my fabulous band members - the success and joy continues to overflow.
Listen to my music or watch some great educational videos with your child on my interactive children’s website www.MusicwithMarnie.com – It’s a Whole World of Child’s PLAY with Yoga for Children, Music for Children, Sign Language for Children and More! Many videos can be viewed for free and downloaded for less than $2.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Linda Solomon of the Vancouver Observer, saw a facebook post I made, where I was raving of my love of walks and hikes in the many trails of Vancouver, and asked me to write a story. When you have a chance feel free to check it out: 8 Beautiful Hikes in One of the World's Most Beautiful Cities
NEVER have I been to a place that has taught me so much about life. Wherever you go, there is a consistent order in the chaos. In the cities, traffic is like I have never seen before. Driving the wrong way down a one way street occurs every few minutes, on every one way street. Three to four rows of cars on a two lane freeway is just as common. Honking in India is very common too, but not because people are angry, but just to let you know they're going to pass you. In fact, India is the only place in the world that I'm aware of, that has the words "Please Honk" written on the back of about 90% of their trucks. Amazingly, amidst all the craziness, things seem to flow so beautifully in India! I believe there's probably less traffic accidents there because the people are more relaxed and the rules are more relaxed. Cars flow in and out quite gracefully through the chaos. People are asleep or awake, at all different hours of the day and overall the people I met seem to live from a very relaxed and easy-going 'space' - a true peace or calmness amongst the wildness! Yes, India is quite a country - I truly think that everyone should experience it just once before they die, or as they would say in India 'before they leave the body.'
Soooo.... I'm back in Vancouver! Yay! And if you read the article I wrote for the Observer, you'll see how much I'm enjoying it!
We're back in our home again and well ... we're selling it. We're getting it freshened up and ready for viewing in the next couple of weeks. We spent 5 years renovating our old character house and then rented it out for the last two years as we traveled and well... if it sells - someone will be getting a beautiful home and if it doesn't ... then we have a great place to live!
I'm delighted to announce that I will be teaching Music with Marnie Summer Camps again. They're listed on my site www.MusicwithMarnie.com under Upcoming Shows.
Music with Marnie Concerts are in the works and videos are still being edited and added to my site too, so 'life' is back to 'normal' and things seem to be flowing nicely - kind of like the traffic in India!
All in all, it was great to be away BUT it's even great'ER to be home!
I can't wait to see you all really soon! If you have any stories or experiences to share about your travels or recent happening's, please share them on my blog! I'm sure others would love to hear about your fun experiences just as much as I would!
Okay, I must sign off now ... back to painting, gardening and ughhhh ... TAXES .... back to life... back to reality!
Take care and see you soon (yay)!
Photo Above is some cows on the beach in Goa! Every day on every beach we saw at least one cow, and one evening we even saw a bull and a cow in a restaurant .... I tell ya, India is amazing! I could write so much more... but I'll give you a break ;)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Here's the poem ~ ENJOY!
If I had my child to raise over again
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger paint more and point fingers less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch,
and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields
and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often.
I would be firm less often
and affirm much more.
I'd model less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
At one point in the conversation I heard myself say "We are Here to Learn from the Children. Children aren't here to Learn from Us." Pretty strong statement and in some situations probably not true but depending on the circumstance yes it's 100% true!
Look at children six years and under, they teach us so much:
PRESENCE - Watch a child PLAY or Create see how present they are. Enjoying everything they do fully and completely and then when they're done with it ... they're done ... aren't they! Not like us - everything we do, our minds are either in the past or in the future, children are definitely more in the NOW.
RESILIENCE - Children are much more resilient than we are! See a child fall and cry but in moments notice or with the easiest distraction, they can usually shake it off. As adults, we tend to hang onto whatever it is for hours or days (and sometimes even years) - don't we - as we can always bring it up again and again in one story or another. Children will simply forget and move on.
PRIDE - See a child dance in public or sing in a crowd or wear a funny outfit to school and yet be so proud or perhaps even oblivious ~ happy ~ content! Wouldn't it be lovely just to dance as if know one was watching and with out any care or to paint a picture and be happy to post it on the fridge or give it to someone without all the excuses as to why 'it's not good enough'
OBSERVERS - Children are quick learners! They are sponges for new information! Because of this we have to be really cautious that when it comes to learning ~ what are we teaching them? Are we inspiring them to stay PRESENT? Are we acknowledging their RE SILENCE and giving them the strength and courage to grow? Are we PROUD of ourselves and of our accomplishments and not fearful or shameful of others reactions or of the final result?
Lastly ... are we OBSERVING our children and letting them be our INSPIRATION ~ Are we learning from them ~ they have so much to teach us!
One funny little clip to end off this post. After my pedicure I came home and opened up my facebook page to find the following post from my friend Cam Hayduk of turtlebox productions (the fab friend who helped create all the videos for my website http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/) His son Sam (whom I absolutely adore) had a playdate over ... here's how their clever conversation went:
"Sam, do you know how they took out people's brains to make them a mummy?" Sam: "Yeah, with a big hook through their noses, isn't that cool?" ... Isobel: "Yeah. My mom told Lucy that if she keeps picking her nose, she'll pull out her brains."
Gotta LOVE it! Children are da' best! They are truly a constant inspiration for me! We can learn and grow so much just from being with them ~ and what a special place to BE!!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
In This Blog Post
1. About the Children's Community Website
2. What Your Child Will Experience when Visiting www.MusicwithMarnie.com
3. The Many benefits of www.MusicwithMarnie.com
4. How the Idea of www.MusicwithMarnie.com came About
5. The People Behind www.MusicwithMarnie.com
1. About the Children's Community Website
Come PLAY at Marnie's House ANYTIME, ANYWHERE! This safe, educational and entertaining website will be a haven of joy for your child to learn, explore and create in. Each video and each on-line activity in Marnie's House will feed the hearts, the minds and the social, emotional and developmental growth of your child!
The Fun begins at http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/ where children can watch Marnie TV in their own 'personally decorated room' and get transported into Marnie's World: A world of imagination, creation, exploration, education and even a little fun meditation.
2. What Your Child will Experience when Visiting Marnie's World
Right from the home page your child will be inspired to PLAY and have fun! As soon as the site opens "Marnie" (that's me ;) pops out of the front door of 'her house' and invites the children to come and play! Children can click on the window of Marnie's House where they will get transported into Marnie's World.
'So let me tell you that your website is part of our daily life, it amazes me how Maya opens my computer, finds the Marnie bookmark, opens it and navigates through your website ALL ON HER OWN, I love it.'
G. Benito, Mexico City
Here Children can watch Marnie TV which includes a wide and ever-changing collection of children's videos.
In creating the site in like everything I do ~ I thought what would children like. First off, children love the characters. From there I developed different skits for each character where the characters are doing things that children enjoy!
There's a great selection of videos called MARNIE TV:
Music with Marnie - For those who took a Music with Marnie Class - it's kind of like that, but with the help of some funky backgrounds and props and a few visits from Marnie's furried friends.
Move with Mumbu the Monkey - Just one look at Mumbu the Monkey and you want to get up and boogie. Different video clips will have your child dancing, doing yoga, exercising, jumping and more!
Learn with Milton - Milton the Mosquito makes learning fun. From Math to Recycling there's something for everyone!
Laugh with the Snicker Snakes - Kevin and Cass the Two Little Snicker Snakes are always there for a little fun and simple belly laughter
Sign and Dance with Tula - Your child will learn basic ASL (American Sign Language) while singing, signing and dancing with Marnie & Tula the Kangaroo
Rock with Marnie - If your child likes seeing the Music with Marnie Band LIVE - He or She will definitely enjoy these videos
Country with Jethro - Get ready for a Ho Down - it's time to giddy up and get singing with Marnie and Jethro
Meditate with Marnie - Simple & Fun Meditations for calming the body or for just feeling plain ol' good!
"Marnie, I'm just emailing you to say how much we are ALL enjoying the videos that we downloaded. Last night I did the meditation with Evan before he went to bed and afterwords he looked at me as if to say 'thanks Mommy, thanks Marnie, thanks Mumbu' ... Thank you Marnie."
S. Vanderkooi, Campbell River, BC
Children can also decorate their own room in Marnie's house. From wallpaper to windows and furniture. It's all there in Marnie's World.
''My daughter and I played around on your website today. She loved it (she is 4 and just getting into computers) The website is great for this age group. She especially liked where you can decorate your room. Of course she made it all pink.''
K. Dunn, North Vancouver, BC
''Marnie, WOW! You and Kevin have done an amazing job!! The site is wonderful, and must have been so much work. Kudos to you for seeing it through. The decorating page gets two
Emmy-sized ''thumbs up'' off the bat, for being able to create a polka-dot couch. LOL! It's just great. The vids are so cute.''
S.Bradford-Wilson, Saskatoon Sask.
Children can also choose from games to play as well! There are two fabulous games made to two popular music with Marnie Tunes. Both games are beneficial for fine motor and cognitive skills and more importantly are a lot of FUN!
3. The Many benefits of http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/
~ It's FREE!!! (Most sites like this have a membership fee or a lot of adds - this site is free from both!!!!)
~ It's SAFE
~ It's FUN
~ It's Marnie, the Band, the Characters & MORE
~ It's Unique
~ It's always changing (new videos are being added every six weeks .... 'old' videos and all videos are available for download on the shop page)
AND ... the greatest thing is ... You can download ALL of the videos and ALL of Marnie's Songs and make a variety of mixed DVD's or CD's for your children and for their friends!
Looking for a birthday party theme or gift bag idea? Why not make the party a Mumbu theme and make a mixed DVD of the Mumbu videos for each child's grab bag!
4. How the Idea of http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/ came About
Well, I knew it was time for a change! In ten years of performing as a children's entertainer I have had many people approach me wanting to work on some fun project or another from TV shows to videos and video games to managing me and making music with me. Many offers have been great and enticing some have worked and others have not but all in all it's been an enriching experience.
Creating Marnie's world was a nice combination of many of my ambitions. It's like a mini TV show for kids, it's like an on-line Music with Marnie Class and it's like a collection of Marnie Videos. It's something that can consistently change and grow and never become stagnant!
My website was in need of a good over-haul so creating a site like this was the best option. Now it's a great site for children to enjoy, for parents to feel comfortable about their children using and it's also good for presenters, agents and managers as it gives them a great idea of what Music with Marnie is all about!
5. The People Behind http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/
Well ... there's a few great people that deserve recognition!
- all the videos were shot and edited by Cam Hayduk of Turtlebox Productions www.turtelboxproductions.com - Cam is awesome!!! Incredibly Creative and super FUN to work with!!!
- the artwork was done either by myself or by the Lovely Jennifer Norquist (who btw has made all of the costumes and puppets - Mumbu, Tula, Milton the Snicker Snakes and MORE) - She is such a talent and a great person!
- the web design was done by me and all by Andy Jenkins of www.freeflowcreative.com
- the idea of a community website was my husbands (and as many of you know my husband is an INTEGRAL part of Music with Marnie and just one awesome dude!!!!
- the music is always thanks to the Music with Marnie Band - especially Eduardo Ottoni (my drummer) as he and I write my music together plus everything is recorded and engineered by him in his studio. Eduardo has been a huge part of Music with Marnie from it's inception.
- by all the music with Marnie Fans who consistently inspire me to do what I do. I am FOREVER grateful to all the families you've all touched me so deeply over the years ... THANK YOU!
- through support and inspiration from my friends and family (my husband as mentioned) and my beautiful teacher Paramahamsa Nithyananda.
It's been a fun and incredible and ever-changing journey! Thanks for being a part of it.
The site changes every six weeks. Do add your name to this blog and also email me if you want to receive my newsletter .... that way you'll always be kept up to date on all Music with Marnie Events and happenings including any new children's videos or children's songs.
So come one and be a part of it. Usually sites like this cost money but this one is free for your child's learning and visual pleasure!
Visit the site today http://www.musicwithmarnie.com/
IT'S A WHOLE WORLD OF CHILD'S PLAY!!!!