Over the last 5 years I have listened to a LOT of children’s music. Some tacky, some great and a few exceptional pieces of music that leaves you wanting more.
My new favourite Childrens Musician is Anika Moa, her music is beautiful and inspired by the Maori Heritage, and I have been incorporating her music in my lesson plans since I first heard her. I reached out to her and she graciously agreed to share her thoughts and story.
Both Anika’s parents are/were musos, and grew up in a very musical family, like the jackson 5 but the NZ version of it. She explained how she loved music since she was a toddler and her parents taught her how to play guitar, to sing and how to entertain most of all. Her parents and siblings inspired her to create. Growing up in a pakeha/maori society has made for an interesting musical journey. Anika is an established musician in New Zealand and since having children of her own has now switched to childrens’ music (lucky Us)
So here are the Q’s and A’s
When I was growing up my father is a Greek musician so music was all around me, and I had the sounds of Greece in my lounge room. What was your childhood like in terms of music, I would love to hear how/why Maori music is important to you.
Maori music is a really gorgeous, swaying sound. it is gentle and lullaby-ish. I have grown up with it in my schooling, not in my family. I was driven to learn my language at a very young age and along with the language comes the wait as they go hand in hand. Singing my songs in my native tongue is about teaching kids the importance of language but also melodies create memories, which creates a culture.
What was the catalyst that made you switch to children’s music?
I had twin boys and I sang to them most nights, which led me to write kids music and record it. Of course my kids inspire me greatly but life inspires too and it was SO hard being a parent of twins. it taught me a lot abut myself, some good, some bad but then that inspires stories and then it goes from there.
What are your future plans in the children’s music forum?
I love touring so that’s what Ill do in the next year or two. There are a lot of child care centres, libraries and big school halls waiting for me to sing in them!!
I have 2 daughters and have been teaching them piano as it seemed like a natural skill to pass on. How are you educating your children with music, and how do they respond.
My sons love drums and guitar and they love doing the Haka at their kindy too. I play music to them every single day and sing to them most days. Music is a part of our life and our heritage so I am subtly helping them and hopefully inspiring them to learn through song. I think all children inherently love music so its no hard task!
I suggest you checkout Anika’s music on iTunes: Songs for Bubba & Songs for Bubba 2 if you want to have a different repertoire than The Wiggles and give yourself and your children a musical experience you will all enjoy.
You could also check out her Youtube Channel Anika Moa YouTube