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New Zealand Artists for Kids

New Zealand is renowned for the quality of its early childhood music and resources. For such a small country it sure does create wonderful teachers and innovators in music for children.

Linda Adamson is beloved in adopted homeland New Zealand. Her music resource range Love To Sing has become a worldwide hit with teachers, parents and kids. Linda’s songs are played daily on NZ children’s television. Her philosophy is participation and enthusiasm being the keys to your child’s learning. Most recently Adamson has been on a mission to connect communities through music. She is highly regarded for her understanding of the cognitive, physical, social and emotional benefits that music brings. Adamson has also devised specific children’s programmes, including “Hearty Fun Fitness”, which is endorsed by the NZ Heart Foundation.

All her collections are great so it’s hard to find a standout but Playtime Songs is a good CD to start with. This CD is full of fun songs like “You brush your teeth”, “Dr Knickerbocker”, “Good morning” and “Skinny Marinky”. There’s also a lyrics book and bonus DVD of live action songs.

Storyteller Tanya Batt is a world leader in the art of storytelling. Batt’s philosophy is that delight and curiosity form the basis for enjoyable and effective lifelong learning. She is a trained teacher (with a penchant for sumptuous dresses as part of her performances) who specialises in picture books, folk tale collections and audio story recordings that appeal to the “young and young at heart”. Her CD Box of Foxes is a story and music collection that features the crafty character of the fox in popular tales including “Chicken Licken” and “The Gingerbread Man”. Batt is so adept at storytelling she tells fairytales from cultures as diverse as Armenian, Swahili, Chinese, Swedish and Jewish. Fire up your imagination with some of Batt’s wonderful storytelling resources!

Tessa Grigg and Brian Ringrose have been creating educational music resources for many years and are very well respected in preschool education in NZ. This duo’s focus is education through music and create with children’s developmental needs and they also use the latest findings in childhood education to influence their creative endeavours. On Sing a Song (Vol 1) has so many of the songs that parents, teachers and children know and love. Think songs like “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”, “Hickory Dickory Dock” and “Five Little Speckled Frogs” and you’ll have a good idea of the classics that are on this collection. Lots of fun for pre-schoolers.

Janet Channon and Wendy Jensen, founded Kids Music Company (KMC) almost 25 years ago and have produced a bevvy of much-loved music resources that are used in preschools all over News Zealand and Australia.

Swing Thing book and CD is a collection of 22 original songs to engage and enliven. There are songs about glittering starfish, Jack in the box, the crazy puppy and yummy food songs. There are songs for actions, creative and set movement, steady beat, instrumental activities and fun songs. Channon and Jensen present the building blocks of music education in a way that is accessible and fun for children up to eight years. With songs like “At The Bottom Of My Garden I’ll Build Me A House”, “On The Spot Freeze” and “Little Starfish To The Drum” there’s lots to love about this collection. Includes a lyrics and education guidebook.

The heart of Christchurch-based Julie Wylie’s work is that music is the language of the emotions. Wylie creates music for children and their parents to enjoy together. In fact, Wylie is dedicated to helping parents to use music and rhythm to enhance their parenting and relationships with children. As a senior paediatric music specialist and founder of the New Zealand Musical Parenting Association, Wylie’s credentials in this area are top-notch and teachers and music specialists from all over the world have been inspired by her philosophy and methods. Wylie’s Bop it in the Rocket is all about celebrating journeys. Planes, trains, automobiles, even flying to the moon or going on a magic carpet ride. This CD is great for car trips or classroom lessons. It’s a real spark for little imaginations. Bop it in the Rocket is part of Wylie’s Sing & Play range of music resources for early childhood.

Universal Children’s Audio (UCA) is one of the leading Kiwi publishers of great music and resources for the early years. UCA is dedicated to creating music just for children and it does a range of titles from dance, to storytelling and relaxation. The collections are sorted by native NZ birds with each one signifying a theme – the fantail introduces dancing and moving, wood pigeon for story time, the albatross for developing imagination and the tui for singing and fun. These are just some of the themes on offer from UCA. Toddlers Top 40 Fun Songs – The Ultimate Collection features the voice of Rahda Sahar, who is a producer for UCA. It features finger songs, sing-alongs, and action songs.


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