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Music and Poetry to Celebrate Childhood

It is the most magical time of life and where almost all brain development occurs – childhood. Let’s celebrate it!

There are many wonderful children’s musicians who are devoted to celebrating the special, and most important, time that is childhood.

Jack Grunsky, a Canadian singer and songwriter, creates music that helps children see that they are part of a beautiful world. In fact, his CD collection, My Beautiful World, uses everyday moments that children experience and combines them with energetic, upbeat songs and clever lyrics to create a fun music experience. Songs like ‘Look who’s in my family’, ‘pots and pans’, ‘pet song’ and ‘home-made cooking’ give you an idea of how Grunsky used the everyday and turns them into magical, wonderful moments.

Similarly, Franciscus Henri, aka Mister Whiskers, uses the ordinary – and makes it extraordinary – with Sunshine, Rainbows and Violins. ‘Happy, sad song’, ‘when I was five’ and  ‘down by the station’ are just some of the songs on this collection that incorporates themes like food, animals, emotions and seasons.
For those adults who remember the show, Henri was a member of the original cast of Australian program Shirl’s Neighbourhood (hosted by the late Skyhooks singer Shirley Strachan) where he presented his own segments as himself and as an early alter-ego, Professor Henri.

Wendy Fine and Judy Irwig have been making music for kindergarten-aged children for over 20 years and their collection It’s a Small Small World has 42 songs for ages two to five that are the all-time favourites of children all over Australia. There’s the classics parents know and love like ‘dingle dangle scarecrow’, ‘oh dear, what can the matter be?’ and ‘doggy in the window’’ as well as some original compositions by Irwig and Fine.

The CD Kids Just Wanna Have Fun is jam-packed with vibrant, happy, boppy songs to get children in the mood for lots of fun. A great soundtrack for parties or at-home play, Kids Just Wanna Have Fun features 22 songs grouped around the following themes: being me, games and travel, art and craft, moving about and fun at home.

An appreciation of poetry can set children on a path of lifelong love of words and language and What I Like! – Poems for the Very Young is a book and read-along CD that includes poems about everything that is important to children: animals, family, food – and some jokes (kids love jokes!). Gervase Phinn is the author of the book and a former Yorkshire school teacher. Phinn is a very popular storyteller and poet who travels around the UK doing shows and school appearances and his work is used widely by teachers. On poetry, Phinn says: ‘As children progress throughout primary school they need to be exposed to a rich diet of poetry and be encouraged to read, perform and write it themselves…’

The amazing Canadian children’s performer and musician Raffi is probably one of the best-known entertainers, and a pioneer for music that celebrated childhood. Raffi has been recognised with many awards, including the Order of Canada for his ‘Child Honouring’ work – his vision for creating a humane and sustainable world by addressing the universal needs of children.

One Light One Sun is one of his most popular collections and features his moving ‘One Light, One Sun’, the silly ‘Apples and Bananas” and De Colores’ – a beautiful ballad in Spanish.

Childhood is here to be celebrated and honoured!


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