Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Music Minute: Tracy Bonham Interview

 Recently, Tracy Bonham releases her first album for kids: Young Maestros, Vol. 1.

The collection of original songs is the start of Bonham's new Melodeon Music House program, which is designed to get kids engaged in the process of making and appreciating music. Drawing upon her classical music background, Bonham conveys her conviction that anyone can make music, and anyone can get past limitations. The styles and messages of the songs harken back to the influences of such 1970s children’s media as Free To Be You And Me and Sesame Street. 

I had a chance to interview Tracy to learn more about her music.

Why did you create this album? I created this album because I found a serious lack in joy and enthusiasm in music education in public schools and I want children to grow up having as much fun as I did learning the fundamentals of music. 

How can music be so helpful for kids when it comes to learning new things? Learning music, in my opinion, is essential for a well rounded education. Learning music uses every part of the brain: right, left, front and back. It helps children develop math and counting skills, it encourages good listening skills and it develops memory. The songs on Young Maestros Vol. 1 encourage empathy and the art of working together while digging into the fundamentals of music theory. Music is a tool for language, expression, and a vehicle for joy. This album captures all of it. 

How can parents and caregivers encourage musical explorations, especially if they aren't musical themselves? By engaging with the children while listening to the songs on this album. I encourage adults to learn alongside the children so they see your interest. Just like anything, if you show an interest in what the children are learning, it is contagious - plus is connecting. It really is a music education album for all ages. There is no age minimum or maximum so, it's never too late to learn yourself. 

You can watch Tracy in action - she and Rene Hart (her Melodeon Music House collaborator) are posing "Saturday Sweet Suite" concerts on FB and Instagram.

For more information about the album, please take a look at the video on www.melodeonmusichouse.com, and read the interviews on Music n Other DrugsHVY and her hometown paper, Eugene Register-Guard.

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