For decades popular artists have dipped their toes in the waters of kids music. The latest crossover is Tracy Bonham with her new album Young Maestros Vol.1. Tracy made a name for herself with her hit “Mother, Mother” reaching number one in 1996 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, a feat no other solo-female artist had achieved until Lorde’s single “Royals” in 2013. “Many artists start recording and releasing children’s music when they become parents. In my case, I started writing music for young people as an exercise in delivering a better way for children to learn the fundamentals of music. I believe children learn more effectively if and when they are enraptured in a catchy song with educational concepts,” Bonham says.
Last year as the pandemic grounded plans for her next album, Tracy turned her attention to Melodeon Music House, a project she’d been working on for quite some time. “When I was young, I was enraptured by the music of Schoolhouse Rock, Sesame Street, and Electric Company. This material was the foundation for my learning before I entered kindergarten. I would like to give the same opportunity to young children today with my own twist. I want to give children a foundation for learning the concepts and fundamentals of music and how these fundamentals can pertain to their lives.” She adds their mission is “to engage children in learning while having fun.”
The latest single from the album, “Beats on a Measure”, makes the children in her class smile. “This song starts off with a rapid fire lyrical explanation of simple time signatures in western music. Time signatures like 4/4, 3/4, 2/4, and 1/4. When I teach this song, I often hear young children laughing during the introduction because of the quick pace as the words fly by. The children know it is funny even if they don’t catch every single word,” she says.
Watch the new video for the song and you’ll get just a small taste of what I’m sure a class with Tracy Bonham is like.