Lah-Lah Take Children’s Music Education to Another Level
Tina Harris is best known as the stripy sock singing and dancing star of ABC KIDS TV show Lah-Lah’s Adventures and behind the stripes, is a passionate entrepreneur and early childhood music advocate. Lah-Lah Productions, the company Tina runs with husband Mark, is now in its ninth year. What started as a simple idea, to record a CD and produce a live show for kids, has now grown into international product development and manufacturing, music publishing, distribution, video and audio production not to mention national live touring. But at its core, Lah-Lah is about introducing kids to music and musical instruments.
Early this year, Lah-Lah will launch Lah-Lah’s Music Room; a digital education program that allows parents to share or “pay music forward”. Music Room was crowd funded with the help of families and is designed to spread music into schools and daycare centres by parents. It’s a simple but powerful formula; for every program bought by a family, Lah-Lah will gift that program and teachers’ resources to their chosen school or daycare. So, the parent receives the program but so too does their school or daycare.
Tina identified, while visiting local centres, that the music opportunities for preschool aged children were extremely varied. Some centres had little resources or educators with experience in early childhood music while others had lots. By allowing parents to “pay music forward” schools and daycare centres receive the resources free of charge, but more importantly, because it’s been delivered by their families, a system is then set up where parents are engaged and interested in the program and its direct results; engagement is the key.
As an extension to this program, Tina and Mark perform as a duo in blocks throughout the year when they’re not touring with the full band, performing in schools, daycare centres and working with children and educators on materials in the program. “Crawling around the floor with kids, singing and dancing is a very important way to see the educational materials we’ve created in action, it’s the best way to get teacher and student feedback and it’s a lot of fun” Tina Harris.
This year’s tour Having Fun features the 5 piece Lah-Lah band, all of whom are professional musicians and educators. Tina’s husband Mark is Buzz the Bandleader, but also well recognised as bassist for 3-time ARIA winning band Monsieur Camembert and French group Baby et Lulu. He is also a much sought after theatre and session musician having played for Disney’s Aladdin, The Lion King and Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby amongst others.
The show is lots of fun and jam packed with music. Kids get so much more out of coming to a Lah-Lah concert, but that’s the magic of Lah-Lah’s music; the educational elements are written into the songs, songs that incorporate musical contrasts of high & low, fast & slow, and stop & go. “Preschool children learn through opposites” says Tina “and that’s the beauty of using the musical styles of world music and Jazz, they lend themselves to feature great contrast in tempo and range”.
In April, Lah-Lah’s new CD, Having Fun! was released by Sony Music in conjunction with the Having Fun tour. The new CD features 19 fresh Lah-Lah originals with Lah-Lah’s featured musical styles of world music, jazz, rock’n’roll and a touch of classical, plus there are a few Lah-Lah twists on some more traditional tunes like “Old MacDonald Had a Band”
The Lah-Lah Having Fun national tour began in the April School holidays in Sydney NSW before the band headed off to VIC, QLD, WA, SA and NT. All up they will be playing at 50 venues across Australia and visiting over 30,000 families.
Lah-Lah Having Fun! Tour
18th September 2017
Penrith Panthers, Penrith
This article archived 20 Sep 2017
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