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Children’s music artists from Canada

 

In terms of music for children the maple leaf rules!

Children’s music artists from Canada are highly respected by education professionals and loved by families around the world.

Probably the best known Canadian artist is Raffi with his distinctive style and respect for children. 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. Another wonderful collection is Quiet Time and Raffi makes nap time, bedtime, cuddle time or just winding down time a warm and loving experience for families to enjoy and share. In his gentle, humorous way, Raffi sings much-loved tunes like ‘Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star’ and ‘Rockabye Baby’ as well as his classic original compositions like ‘Blessed Be’ and ‘Thanks A Lot’. Raffi’s music both soothes and spreads a gentle message of mindfulness and gratitude.

Fred Penner is another highly respected Canadian children’s musician who has been performing and recording for decades. Penner is particularly attuned to the fact that music is therapeutic – he grew up with a sister who had Down’s syndrome and in the 1970s he worked with children with disabilities. His debut album The Cat Came Back in the late 1970s established him as a leading children’s entertainer in North America. I’m Growing is a collection that encourages children to discover that they can do new things. ‘You Can Do It If You Try’ is a child’s anthem of uplifting encouragement and his signature anthem ‘Take Good Care Of Each Other’ is one that families can sing together. Penner’s holiday album Christmastime is free of the marketing hype of the commercialised side of Christmas and offers a simple message of love and hope. The Winnipeg Youth Chorus feature on this album too and accompany Penner on classics like ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy’.

Jack Grunsky is a contemporary of Penner and Raffi and is highly regarded for his music about the environment and the universe. A Juno-award winner (Canada’s equivalent of a Grammy) Grunsky is best known for pioneering new forms of musical expression for children, drawing on multicultural influences and a variety of musical genres. Follow the Leader is a favourite with teachers and is a collection of songs full of action movements. My Beautiful world is full of songs about the days in the life of a child – ‘pots & pans’, ‘veggie dip doo wah’’ and ‘home-made cooking’’are a taste of some of the tunes.

The trio Sharon, Lois and Bram have sold over three million records over their 25-year career and had a popular Canadian television program called The Elephant Show during the 1980s and Skinnamarink TV from 1997 to 2000. The trio are loved for their energetic twist to children’s music and entertainment. Skinnamarink TV is a Juno award-winning album of the music from the television series and features lively tunes like ‘Ice Cream’, ‘Ham and Eggs’and ‘Smile Medley’. Smorgasbord is another of the trio’s most popular albums, scooping up Juno and iParenting Media awards and have lots of fun songs like ‘Mango Walk’, ‘Smorgasbord’ and ‘John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt’. This is a really great family fun album.

Kathy Reid-Naiman is a children’s performer whose work is used as part of state education boards in Canada. Reid-Naiman’s songs are bright and cheery and aimed at babies up to six-year-olds. Tickles and Tunes is her award-winning 1999 album collection of songs, tickles, knee bounces, and singing games, for the very young child. A mix of traditional songs like ‘To Market, To Market’ and ‘Mary Wore Her Red Dress’ and modern, original compositions ‘Pterodactyl Song’’ and ‘When the Rain Comes Down’. This album is produced by the renowned Ken Whiteley who has also worked with Raffi and Fred Penner.

 

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