My guest for this episode has been called “the undisputed queen of kindie rock,” and I admit to having a bit of a fangirl moment here as her music was a big part of our family’s soundtrack for many years—I’m so excited to share this interview with singer and songwriter Laurie Berkner. With 13 albums, more than 10 million monthly streams, and millions of CDs and DVDs sold, Laurie is a super star in the world of children’s music. She’s also become a fixture on children’s television, has authored children’s picture books, and has written the music and lyrics for three children’s musicals.
I wanted to bring Laurie on the podcast because she is one of those artists who “gets it.” It’s not only that she is amazingly talented, but that she is so intentional about connecting with and making room for differently wired and differently abled kids. I love connecting my audience with creators who are truly committed to the ideals of inclusivity and Laurie is definitely deserving of our support.
In our conversation, I talk with Laurie about writing music that connects with all kids, why her music so powerfully resonates with differently wired children, her mission of inclusivity, and more.
About Laurie: Recognized as “the queen of kids’ music” by People magazine, Laurie Berkner is a singer, songwriter, lyricist, author, and founder of Two Tomatoes Records, LLC. With an average of more than 10 million monthly streams, and millions of CDs and DVDs sold, Laurie’s songs have become beloved classics for children worldwide.
Laurie has released thirteen bestselling, award-winning albums, was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr., appeared regularly on the network’s Jack’s Big Music Show, and helped develop the short form animated musical preschool series Sing It, Laurie! on Sprout TV. In 2018, Laurie created the series Laurie Berkner’s Song and Story Kitchen with Audible Studios, who released it as a 10-chapter audio book through the Audible Originals brand.
Laurie has authored a number of picture books based on her songs, the most recent of which were published by Simon & Schuster. She has also written the music and lyrics for three Off-Broadway children’s musicals produced by New York City Children’s Theater: Wanda’s Monster, The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess, and Interstellar Cinderella. Laurie maintains a busy, nationwide touring schedule, both solo and with The Laurie Berkner Band, and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House, among many prestigious venues.
What sets Laurie apart? She displays an instinctive understanding of children’s natural rhythms and energy, which keeps kids enraptured and brings parents and caregivers happily along for the ride. Laurie finds inspiration in her audience. “I want to create songs that matter for children,” she says. “I was singing once and saw a four-year-old girl shut her eyes and start swaying to the music. I thought, ‘That’s the reason I got into music.’ It keeps me wanting to do more.”
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Laurie’s origin story—how she went from accidental preschool music teacher to a kid’s musical sensation
- What Laurie’s creative process is like and what drives her connection with kids, especially differently-abled kids
- What to expect at a sensory-friendly Laurie Berkner concert
- What Laurie is working on now, including special offerings for listeners at home during the Covid-19 pandemic
SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM OUR SPONSOR
Kids’ Poetry Club is a whimsical podcast that offers kids an escape to a world where they’re guaranteed a warm welcome. Each week, rhymes, fun, and characters combine on a different theme. Why not check out the recent episode on Kids’ Worries, or this week’s on Being Yourself? Each episode includes a free activity pack and chances for kids to join in. Everyone’s invited to the fun of the Kids’ Poetry Club podcast.
Learn more at kidspoetryclub.com.
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