"Think of it as a self help album for kids" - SMH
"Let's Go Play" (available on iTunes) is a collection of fifteen songs for pre-schoolers focussing on issues like Road Safety, Diet, Being Sunsafe, Anxiety, Bullying, Friendship, Cybersafety and a whole gamut of songs to entertain and educate your little person.
The songs were written in collaboration with a whole gamut of stakeholders from across the country including Brainstorm Productions, Kids and Traffic, ACMA's Cybersafety, Victoria Health, NSW FACS, and Victoria's Cancer Council. It was a privilege to work with so many passionate advocates of these important issues, and I’m really proud of the songs we made for this project.
I was also really pleased to revisit a bunch of the songs I have written for Brainstorm Productions. Jenny Johnson’s Brainstorm keeps touring amazing shows throughout Australia, and I’m proud to have been writing all of their music and songs for more than a decade.
As always though, handing the songs onto the singers is an amazing experience. I was fortunate to work with an amazing cast for the album with Jay Laga’aia, Felicity Urquhart, Teo Gebert, Naomi “Hootabelle” Young, Drew McAlister and Sarah Humphreys contributing vocals for the album – as well as a cameo from Denis “That’s in Queensland” Carnahan.
My awesome kids Tom and Mary Peter also contributed for the script elements that link the songs together (With Jay and Naomi) and Glen Hannah’s guitar was as superlative as always.
The album was a real labour of love, and one of the many great rewards from it was really refining some of my thoughts on parenting and early education. If there is an overriding theme in all of the songs is how important a parent or carer’s role in bringing up a child is. Allowing a child to discover and learn, while always being alongside to assist and encourage as well as assess risk and danger.
It's other challenege was to keep it constantly engaing and entertaining, even when dealing with some pretty heavy subjects. As such the music ranges from Rock to Jazz to Country to Acapella to Trippy 70s space disco and spy music!
Massive thanks to ABC Music, Robert Patterson (whose idea it was) and Megan Crozier for making the album hapen - I’ve really tried more than anything to make this an album for parents as well. I hope people enjoy it – I had a ball writing, recording, mixing and producing it.
Review - Kat Caravella Motherpedia
Lets go Play! Songs for Happy Healthy Kids - ABC Kids
Well isn’t this CD a real gem?! ... Simply put, ‘Let’s go Play!’ is a collection of life lessons disguised as rock music. It’s awesome. The first track and namesake ‘Let’s go Play’ wouldn’t be out of place on iTunes it is so rock-y and catchy. The rest are self explanatory, with ‘Click Clack’ being about car travel safety, ‘Sun Safe’ about making sure you slip slop slap before playing in the sun and the list goes on. A personal favourite of ours was ‘Little Steps’, all about doing things slowly and you’ll get there in the end.
Some songs on this CD are really basic and easy to understand, but others, perhaps a little more serious. ‘No, Go Tell someone’ is teaching the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching, and I’ll admit at after hearing simple, jovial songs like ‘Everyday Food’ and ‘We’re different’, I was caught slightly off-guard by such a lesson - after all, who wants to even think of such things let along sing about them?
It might be the only drawback for some but once I got my head around it given the otherwise jovial nature of the CD, it was ok. Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect and kids need to know that too. My daughters will love this CD when they are old enough to understand lessons in vocals and songs and I would say perhaps 5 and over would be the perfect age. But to simply bop around in given the catchy tunes, it’s entertaining for all ages.