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.