I have a special treat to share. We are in the process of reviewing (i.e., falling in love with) the new CD La Bella Stella from Recess Music. It’s the latest in Recess Music’s series Celebrate Earth. I’ll share our review and the fun we’re having with the album closer to its March 27, 2012 release.
Today we are privileged share our email interview with Recess Music’s founder and CEO, Nancy Doan. I’m inspired by her story and how she used her talent to add value to the music industry and the lives of our little ones.
Nancy Doan: For as long as I remember I have loved listening to music. My earliest music memories are staying at my aunt and uncle’s farm, eating breakfast in the kitchen with the radio playing the hit songs of that time. Musicals from the 30’s and 40’s on TV also were also a favorite. Fred and Ginger, (Astaire and Rogers), were something to behold! The musical interest of my life was set!
BBGU: Why was it important to you to pass music onto your children?
Nancy Doan: I wanted my kids to hear music that I considered part of our musical heritage as a country… Oh Susannah, Home on the Range, I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy as examples. Also, music from the “Great American Songbook”, like In Your Easter Bonnet, White Christmas, Catch a Falling Star are special to me and I wanted my kids to know them. They were happy, uplifting, and easily sung in the car.
BBGU: How did you feel when your children wanted to pass your love and their love of music on to their own children?
Nancy Doan: How great is it hear your kids talk about something that was meaningful in their childhood? That they want to pass the same experience on to someone else? How happy that made me. Those years of being the taxi service to dancing, gymnastics, school games and events, etc, etc, etc, actually served a purpose. Clearly, we built family memories.
Nancy Doan: My first music compilations were done just to share with my kids and contained the music they remembered from childhood. Then I did compilations for my best friend’s parents. They were elderly and on a very fixed income. I made sets of albums which contained all “big band” music from when they were young adults, during WWII. They were so excited and expressive about the joy they felt when they listened to “my music”, as they called it, that was a special moment for me.
I had found something that I could do for others that added joy. I wanted to find a way to do that for other people and especially kids, like my own.
I was also becoming “green” in my life and I thought, “What a great way to add joy to kids lives as well help them look outside of themselves for meaning as well. The idea of the Celebrate Earth Music Series was born.
BBGU: I’d love to hear your thoughts on using music to teach children. Please share!
Nancy Doan: Studies about the impact of music on people of all ages are many. Music therapy is proven to benefit people. Children love to jump, clap, dance and wiggle to the beat of music. Don’t we all? We remember music experientially, relating it to times and events in our lives. Music carries meaning.
We have music to teach the ABC’s, music about the itsy bitsy spider for teaching finger play, music that celebrates “America the Beautiful”, that we share nationally. Music is a good tool for conveying thoughts, ideas and information…including ideas about taking care of our planet.
BBGU: How do you envision families receiving and acting on the music and message of the Celebrate Earth series and specifically La Bella Stella?
Nancy Doan: When I began to work on La Bella Stella, I remembered being very young, in my room at night, where my bed was placed close to the window. I loved laying in bed and trying to count the stars, looking at the moon and making hand shadows on the wall using the moonlight. While creating the La Bella Stella album I thought of children doing the same thing in their beds, looking at the same moon, counting the same stars, or searching for the big dipper.
I like to think of parents taking their children out on a beautiful summer night, laying on the grass in their yards, and together counting the stars, looking for the man in the moon, and talking about traveling in space. Something as simple as that will be remembered by their children for years to come, just like my kids remember us singing together in the car.
Thank you so much, Nancy for your time and for sharing your passion about enjoying our Earth, protecting its resources and teaching our children to do the same.