Photo by Jayme Thornton
June 2, 2020
Dubbed “the Adele of the preschool crowd” by The New York Times, Laurie Berkner explains the role music plays in children’s lives, both in “normal” times and times of anxiety. She has a special message for Class of 2020 seniors, many of whom first fell in love with music as toddlers because of Laurie’s music!
I am so excited to have with me today the award-winning singer, songwriter, lyricist, and author Laurie Berkner, who has been dubbed “the Adele of the preschool crowd” by The New York Times, and “the queen of kids’ music” by People magazine. Laurie has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House; she has more than 10 million monthly streams; and my personal favorite credential: she creates music that not only children, but PARENTS, love!!
- Here is the mug that my mother-in-law gave to my daughter (a graduating high school senior).
- Mindy shares her personal connection to Laurie’s music, and how it saved her sanity during the parent-of-preschoolers stage!
- Laurie discusses the role music plays in children’s lives, in “normal” times AND in times of uncertainty.
- Music allows children to connect with others AND themselves; enables expression of both positive AND negative emotions in a healthy, constructive way; provides a sense of stability; has a calming effect; serves as a source of bonding and connectedness.
- Mindy’s favorite Laurie Berkner song, “The Goldfish (Let’s Go Swimming)” allows kids to be energetic and then “go to sleep” – pure genius. Mindy says: “It gave me the illusion of control for a brief moment, and that’s all I needed to keep on going. Confession: I actually would use that song when I was helping out with my kids’ Sunday school class – it had absolutely nothing to do with Sunday school, but it immediately got all the kids attention and got them to calm down for the next activity!”
- We also discuss Berkner’s song, “We Are The Dinosaurs,” a perfect example of a song that allows children to express anger and frustration – and experience a sense of power and control – in a healthy, constructive way.
Laurie says: Make up a song about whatever you are doing. Taking a walk? “I’m walking with you – one step then two, we’re walking!” Going to the doctor? “I’m going to the doctor today, when I get there what will she say?” Taking a bath? “It’s time to take a bath, gonna get myself all clean.” It doesn’t matter if it rhymes – though that can make it more fun. Just make up something about what you’re doing. It can be something you come back to next time, or maybe the next time you make up a brand new song, just bring music to whatever you do. It builds connection, creates memories and makes things really fun! Especially as an adult, improvising a song with your child is a beautiful gift to give. It shows you are willing to be vulnerable, engaged and possibly a bit silly, all at the same time.
- General Questions, Comments, or Fan Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie shares her song “I’ve Got So Much to Give” as a sendoff to the graduates of 2020 (and to her fans currently graduating from preschool!). She says, “ I hope it will remind them of all they have learned – and already have inside of themselves – that they can now share with the rest of the world in their new role as graduates.” (“I’ve Got So Much to Give” is from Laurie’s album, Superhero.)
Thanks to my kids for their reactions and for giving me permission to share these videos! Note: I usually discourage my kids from playing on the stairs, but now that they’re teens, if they’re interacting I’ll take it wherever we are!