Performing and creating for children

How creating work for children can enrich not only a performer's repertoire, but also their own personal growth.
children's theatre. three performers on stage dressed as cave people attacking each other with clubs.

‘I never saw myself doing kids’ music until I became a parent,’ says Angie Who. The Sydney musician cut her teeth in alt-country acts like The Smoking Muskets, but pivoted to children’s songs when she couldn’t find the kind of music she wanted to share with her young daughter. Now, she has three family music releases to her name, and her Lullaby Love, a singalong event for parents and babies aged from zero to six months, is taking place at the Sydney Opera House.

Who is one of the family-friendly musicians playing at the upcoming Wow Festival for Children and Young People at the Casula Powerhouse. Josh Pyke is another; the ARIA-award winning artist just released his first EP for kids and has written eight children’s books. He sees creating for youngsters as a richly rewarding pursuit. ‘The thing that I love the most about being a creative in general is that sense of play that kids have,’ he tells ArtsHub. ‘My youngest is 10, and he’s so free, and he does these incredible drawings. I don’t even know how to get my brain into that frame of mind to draw like that anymore.’

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Daniel Herborn is a journalist and novelist based in Sydney. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Saturday Paper, The Monthly, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and others. He has also practised law at an Intellectual Property firm specialising in creative industries clients.