It started when my son, Owen, was born. My husband and I made up songs and sang to him during diaper changes, bath time or whenever he became temperamental. We sang to calm and engage him, to give interest to repetitive tasks and perhaps to soothe our own nerves as well. As he became more alert and responsive, we sang to entertain him and to make him laugh. We sang sweet songs to him at bedtime and fun songs during playtime.
When Owen was around six months old, I started playing my guitar and singing to him almost every night after dinner. I played him some of my original songs which, I have to admit, were not exactly appropriate for children. While the lyrics weren’t kid friendly I noticed that Owen really responded to the rock ‘n’ roll riffs. I decided to keep the rock but to start writing lyrics about things Owen enjoyed.
I also created playlists of popular adult music I thought Owen would enjoy. When he reacted to a song I learned to play it on my guitar. I developed quite the repertoire to add to our fun and lively family jam sessions. As Owen grew he joined in more and more; first crawling around in response to the music, then dancing wildly, then playing along on one of his colorful instruments.
Around the same time I discovered the world of kindie rock via Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. We listened every Saturday and were introduced to artists like Frances England, Cat and a Bird and, of course, They Might Be Giants. I felt inspired. I wanted to put my own twist on Children’s Rock!
Not long after, I got my first gig. A friend of mine owns a children’s store and asked me to play at the store’s anniversary celebration. I said yes! I wrote more songs and practiced and practiced. When performance day finally arrived I was warmed by the sweet, smiling faces of my pint-sized crowd. I felt inspired again and motivated to continue on this musical path.
My son is two now and I see how much he enjoys music. He loves AC/DC and James Brown. He says “mama sing” and “music on”. He loves playing his guitar and even made up a song of his own. I brought music into my son’s life and he in turn brought it into mine. Now I hope to share our music with you.
Owen, 3 months, destined for rock greatness
Owen, 10 months, with his new piano
Owen, 14 months, standing proud with mama’s guitar