As we continue to develop and share our children’s voices along with tips and resources for kids, teachers and parents, we are excited to be offering our CHiLD PERFORMERS & PERSONALITIES GUIDE for both teachers & families alike. This will include listings and stories about various individuals and groups that you can invite into your schools, book for a party or event, or visit in the community. As we are located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, we are starting off with many local personalities and also inviting others from across the world to get in touch with us so we can also feature each of you in our own communities, when appropriate.
Today, we are happy to feature MUSIC WITH MARNIE. Marnie Grey and her band are based right here in Vancouver, British Columbia. We chose to start with Marnie as her unique background as both early childhood educator and professional musician makes her the perfect performer to fit our profile. Marnie Grey has that playful personality that is sought after by both teachers and families alike when looking for something both fun and educational to do with their little ones. Drawing upon her skills, talents and experience as both educator and musician, is probably why Marnie is so comfortable on stage and in the classroom with these youngsters, all the while also keeping adults happy and entertained with her fun and energetic songs. This creative gem is well known in our city and abroad for her performances and her local music classes too, which book up very quickly. Marnie has received numerous Awards for Best Children’s Band, Best Children’s Performer, Best Children’s Music Classes and for her Children’s CD’s. Check out Marnie’s World here and keep up-to-date on Concert Information. We recently met up with Marnie and had a few questions for her about what she does.
Q & A with Children’s Performer, Marnie Grey
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: Do you remember when you decided to become a child performer? Was it a conscious decision or did your career just evolve into this? It’s a rather unique career choice and we’re glad you chose it!
MARNIE: I worked as an early childhood educator for about 7 years. My husband and I just bought a house and were getting married. I wanted to add one more exciting new change to my life, so I decided to teach music classes. While caring for children, I noticed that they always had the MOST fun in class when I was singing or when we played music. I also used music all the time as we transitioned from one activity to another, or in challenging moments (ie pre lunch/nap melt downs) and most often it worked! I created a number of class ideas and faxed-yes faxed them out to community centres. In 1999, it was the ONLY Infant based class in Vancouver, as we started at 2 months old. I received callbacks right away and ended up planning my classes on our honeymoon. Word of the classes spread very quickly and soon they were all full and waitlisted. Parents asked if I would ever record the music, so they would have the material at home. Within 1 year, we recorded our first album, and had our CD release Concert at Kits CC. Shortly after that, The Vancouver Children’s Festival contacted me, and we played the bandshell there. Next thing I knew, we were touring. Being an entertainer wasn’t on my goals list, but it happened very naturally and quickly. I love being able to do both, they balance one another out nicely.
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: Tell us a little bit about the songs you create and perform for your young audiences.
MARNIE: As an Early Childhood Educator and Music and Movement Teacher for 20+ years, I have found that repetition and simplicity have been the winning ingredients to all of my most loved songs. 95% of my songs either have an action or are call and response, and the simpler or sillier, the more loved. Three favourites, for sure, are The Kangaroo Song, Firefighter Shuffle and They’re Monkeys.
KiDS NEWS & REVIEWS: What are you currently up to?
MARNIE: Teaching 13 Classes per week, and performing once per month keeps me busy, but we plan to start recording a new album this Spring. Families have faithfully been hopping and clapping and spinning along … and More, to our last 4 albums for years – and no matter how old our music is, we can never sing songs like The Puddle Song or Kangaroo Song too much. I’ve been sharing some new music in my classes, as well as at concerts, and also have a lot of songs dancing around in my brain – we just need the time to get into the studio to record Album Number 5, which is very exciting.
I’ve also been chatting with my dear friend and educator, Lee Ann Steyns of Signing Babies. I met Lee Ann when she took my music classes with both her children who are now in their teens. For the last 2 years, we have discussed working on a project together. We are both educators, we both work with young children, and we both have very similar personalities. We’re the perfect mix – we just need to find the time between our busy classes to make something fun happen.
HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO CHECK OUT MARNIE’S WORK. We Look forward to including some of Marnie’s songs in our upcoming Early Learning Music Reviews but in the meantime, we are very happy to recommend her and have enjoyed checking out the following links to her performances, products, and upcoming events.
HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO CHECK OUT MARNIE’S WORK
Music With Marnie’s Spotify link here: Spotify
Music With Marnie’s Googleplay link here: Googleplay
Music With Marnie’s Shop Page link here: Shop Page
Music With Marnie’s Concert Listings link here: Concerts
Music With Marnie’s Youtube link here: Youtube
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Top 100 Early Childhood Education Blog of 2019
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Thanks Lorrie for the interview. It’s been a joy-filled musical life with children. I certainly can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Vancouver is filled with a lot of talented musicians. I certainly appreciate you showcasing us!