Damien Leith has been recording stories for his children to listen to while on tour for years. Now this collection of stories is available for all of us to enjoy. I caught up with Damien to ask him all about Story Time as well as ask him about his upcoming tour, An Evening with Damien Leith.
The Damien Leith Storytime app & CD started as a chance for Damien to record his original stories for his own kids to listen to while he was away on tour.
A believer in the power of the imagination, Damien’s purpose behind designing the Storytime app was to give children a chance to unwind – without any outside interruptions – and let their imaginations run wild.
“Kids need to just close their eyes, listen and create images in their own head,” he says. “It gives them time to relax. It also sparks ideas in other aspects of their life, including when they write their own stories. Storytelling is vital for children’s imaginations. So many studies have shown, especially in this age of digital devices, allowing a child to imagine something without any other visual stimulation is an essential part of growing and learning.”
The app and CD, which is aimed for children aged four and up – with parental discretion for younger children – features a wide range of stories from adventure themed and fantasy to super-hero style where the kids themselves are the heroes. Each story is completed with a ‘top and tail’ of original music – that not only relates to the story – but also helps the aim of relaxation, and are all told by Damien.
Based on the old-school cassette tapes Damien was brought up listening to (as many of us were) – the stories have no pictures or words, no outward distractions, just the sound. “I loved those styles of stories when I was a kid,” he says. “When a full day was finished, homework was complete, those stories were like my time to sit back, relax and let my mind run free. My stories are designed to ignite children’s imaginations, and at times a moral or two. I always encourage parents to sit in on the stories with the kids, even pause the stories if the child has questions. When the children are asking questions, it is a great sign – it means they are really listening and connecting to the story.”
All the stories have been road-tested on Damien’s 3 kids – Jarvis (12), Jagger (10) and Kikki (6) – and their friends, and have the kiddy nod of approval. “I have been writing for years,” says Damien. “Writing was in fact, my first love before singing. My kids absolutely love the stories and often listen to them many times over. The wonderful thing about creating a story ‘live’ in front of the kids is that I can constantly gauge if they’re enjoying where the plot is heading. For my three, I’ve found that adventure and the unexpected always draws them in. I already have quite a large backlog of stories to work from, but since my kids still ask for a new story every night, there’s constantly new ones being developed.”
Damien Leith’s Storytime app is released to Google Play and iTunes on 2nd March 2018. The Storytime CD will also be available via iTunes on 2nd March 2018.
For more information, visit www.damienleithstorytime.com