In this episode, kindie music mainstay Suzi Shelton talks about this wonderful convenience she offers families located near and far: a live, online concert performance right in their own kitchens. Plus she gives kids a thrill she remembers from her favorite childhood TV show…
In this episode I talk with Miss Nina about her remarkable success combining her mailing list with her weekly YouTube videos for kids and families. Fellow kindie artists, there are lots of good ideas you can try from what you hear in this episode!
Joanie Leeds, creator of People Magazine’s Best Kids Album of 2013 and winner of numerous awards, shares her view on the importance of all kids-and-family musicians knowing their worth and staying true to it.
So you wanna be a rock-n-roll star – or a kids’ music star? Here are 3 things to consider as you embark on your new journey of making music for kids and families. Or things to help you measure how far you’ve come and remember what you made it through, or to re-orient you to the bumps in the road we still face no matter how long we’re at this.
- Know your reason why you’re aspiring to the kids’ music profession. Your reason why is what will keep you moving forward when outside circumstances slow you down.
- Does identifying your music with a label like ‘kindie’ expand your opportunities or restrict your artistic choices? Here’s my take.
- Prepare for the adversity ahead. Yes, playing at the corner bar in your past life was hard; don’t expect kids’ music to be an easy way out. You now have a new set of challenges.
Thanks for listening; let me know what you think of the podcast, what you got out of this episode and what topics you’d like to see covered.
If you have a specialty within the kindie world that you’d like to discuss for the benefit of the community, let me know and I’ll get you on the show as a guest.
This is Kindie:
- You’ve taken enormous risks and sacrificed thousands of hours to hone your craft on your own dime and the help of grassroots crowds who have come to believe in you.
- You’ve experimented through trial and error, finding your authentic voice and making it resonate with kids and their parents.
- You’re learning not to be too consumed with whether or not you’re hip enough (No one will ever completely master this). You’re just you.
- You can “go with the flow” when the kids and families don’t react the way you imagined; you tinker with your act to improve family and child engagement as you go.
- Your onstage appearance and presence are an extension of who you genuinely are, but you’ve also put thought into ways big or little to elevate it to a remarkable level.
- Your album artwork invites families into a vivid, exciting or soothing experience.
- You play folk, jazz, rock, punk, funk, hip hop, country, reggae, Americana, whatever–it’s genuinely you.
- You’ve taken your time to write and record quality material; you’ve meticulously mixed and mastered it or invested in someone to do those steps for you. You either recorded real drums or made an arrangement that naturally flows without a drum kit.
- You’re in awe of the community and the movement of artists surrounding you; your marketing of your music occasionally reflects that.
- You love the music you make and you do it because you’ve gotta!
This is Not Kindie:
- Sony Records gave you a $100K advance for your new album.
- Disney Corp. put your band together, choosing you because you “fit the suit.”
- You fly a charter jet to your gigs.
- Your songs were written by a team of top Nashville songwriters, one of whom gets $200K a year just to come up with titles.
- You twerk onstage in front of pyrotechnic effects.
- You have a Jumbotron behind you showing images other than a little yellow guy from the sun (sorry, couldn’t resist, Morgan & Rachel!).
- You didn’t get that last joke.
- You lose it when the kids don’t act like the perfect little adoring fans you envisioned.
- You chose to program cheesy-sounding fake drums on a rock song (as a cheaper substitute for real drums) instead of working with a drummer, using hand percussion or just leaving the drums out on an album you plan on releasing commercially.
- Your album artwork is a WordArt graphic and clip art done in PowerPoint in 5 minutes.
- You cut corners because “heck, the kids won’t know the difference!”
- You pitch your album to the media as the only one in the world that kids and parents can agree on.
- You brag that your album is the first ever to get kids dancing and learning at the same time.
- You don’t really love this music; you do it because, hey, it pays better than the bars.