The one thing I didn't expect when starting a radio station for kids was to come across so many amazing children's performers who are making and sharing great music for kids. They are passionate, dedicated, hard working and most often fitting in performances around full time jobs.
This month we are meeting two such people, Pevan & Sarah!
Tell us about yourselves...
We are both primary school teachers at Montmorency Primary. Manny is the school Music teacher and I teach Foundation (Prep). We work during the day and spend nights and weekends performing, recording, touring etc. When people ask if we have children we say, “Yes! Hundreds of them, but we give them back when the bell goes!” It’s a tough juggling act but we are passionate about both careers and they compliment each other well.
How long have you been doing this for?
We were both brought up in musical families, studied music at school and then graduated from The Victorian College of the Arts with Music degrees. Manny went on to do his Masters of Music Performance and then we both got our teaching degrees. It was only a matter of time before we married our two passions together. ‘Pevan & Sarah’ officially released their first album in 2014 and have been performing ever since.
Why kids music? How did you start?
When I (Sarah) first started teaching, I taught in a program designed to help students with additional needs and those who weren’t quite ready for mainstream school. We worked on social skills, gross and fine motor skills, communication, confidence and independence etc.
My teaching style came from my musical background and together Manny and I began to write songs that would be relevant for these kids in the classroom. Some of our early repertoire included songs like “You Get What You Get and You Don’t Get Upset”, “The Tidy Up Song”, “We Are All The Same” and “It’s OK to Make Mistakes”.
The response to our music was awesome and we knew immediately that we were on to a good thing. We developed the concept (a giant friendly tiger named Pevan) and the show, then began performing and touring. We always road test new songs with my grade, they’re quick to tell you what they like… Preps are brutally honest.
What age group is your music for?
Our target audience is ages 3-8 but we’ve hooked a few of the older kids and even the parents. My Dad listens to our new album on repeat with a glass of red by the fire (although he’s probably bias).
How would you describe your music?
The genres that we cover in our music are as diverse and varied as the subject matter. We have songs that are in the style of country, pop, rock, latin, punk, rap and even calypso. Although written for kids, our music is appealing to all ages, as we’ve worked very hard not to simplify it, both musically and lyrically.
Children love The Wiggles, but they also love Katy Perry and some of the world’s biggest pop artists. We’ve written musically urbane tracks that are fun to sing and dance to, easy to listen to on repeat and might even teach a valuable lesson or two. The biggest compliment we’ve ever had is from a parent who told us that she can listen to our CD on repeat in the car and not want to throw it out the window.
What are the best bits about creating music for kids?
Performing is a huge highlight. Watching the enjoyment the kids gain from singing and dancing with a giant tiger is something we never tire of. Collaborating with the kids and creating songs that they want to hear is a privilege too.
Why do you think music is important for kids?
The research is now evident that music exposure and education can have an extremely positive impact on young kids. It helps their literacy and numeracy development, as well as confidence and resilience. But to be honest, we don’t think we should be exposing children to music because it helps them academically, we should expose them to music because music is good.
Anything else you would like to tell us?
We have just released our second album “The Tiger Tail” and are celebrating with an album launch on October 9th, 2016. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from our website. It’s going to be a fun musical event for kids and families.
Pop by our website or Facebook page and say hello! We’d also like to thank Sarah Morrissey for providing such an awesome radio station for kids and supporting local music.
You are completely welcome Sarah and Manny!