Children’s Music Conference is About Singing & More

By Liz Buchanan

Below, Scott Bierko shares a song with Taelor Grisack.

Coming to a conference of The Children’s Music Network is like attending the reunion of a big, happy family. Only this family can add unlimited numbers of cool new members every year. This year’s conference, happening now on the shores of Lake Michigan in Zion, IL is a celebration of CMN’s 25th year in existence.  A slide show in the lobby shows photos of past gatherings of the group from five, ten or even 20 years   Some of those same people are still here.  Others, like me, are relative newbies, and still others are arriving for the first time.  It’s all good, and we all love the same thing – singing with kids.

In addition to having way too much fun, we’re also getting a chance to enrich the work we do, with workshops on everything from songwriting with kids to social networking.  We get to hear presentations from people like Sarah Pirtle and Ruth Pelham about singing with children about their feelings, or on drumming with kids from Sue Nierman, who has brought along her huge “music wall” of recycled stuff to bang on.

Today, we presented our Magic Penny Award for lifelong achievement in children’s music to the Canadian music trio Sharon, Lois and Bram, inventors of Skinnamarink and other classic children’s songs.