Creating magical musical memories is vital in childhood development, says TV’s stripy-socked, singing sensation Tina Harris, known as the loveable Lah-Lah.
A successful Dreamstarter and StartSomeGood campaign cleverly mixed with modern technology has allowed the professionally trained performer, ex-music school operator and music education advocate to bring one of her own dreams to life.
About to hit the road on another exciting tour with her ‘Big Live Band’, Tina gives an update on the progress of her project and shares her and Lah-Lah’s Productions’ exciting plans for the future.
Tina, tell us how it all started?
Originally, I was trained as an opera singer and worked with Opera Australia for many years. I began teaching early childhood music lessons after I had my two daughters, and this quickly grew into a school, and then four schools.
The idea for starting Lah-Lah (now a top rating show on ABC Kids and CBeebies) came about when we would put on little shows for children and their parents, which were extremely popular. Due to fan demand, eventually we produced a huge concert, then went on to record our first CD and – before we knew it – we were recording our first season.
How important is music to childhood development?
I think every child should have access to music – it helps all areas of development, from language skills to coordination, creativity and literacy. Music complements the development of both left and right hand hemispheres of the brain. But, most importantly, music is fun!
However, unfortunately due to distance and financial circumstances, many day cares, preschools and infant schools do not have access to specialised music teachers. Through innovative programs such as ING DIRECT’s Dreamstarter partnership with StartSomeGood, we are creating a future where no matter where or who you are, you could have a specialised and fun music program for your child.
What are you currently working on?
We are in the process of developing dynamic and engaging music lessons and classes for preschool children in Australia, which will also be downloadable, to access and help them learn (and get excited) about music. We hope to provide these to day care centres and preschools around the country.
What impact does Lah-Lah have?
Lah-Lah is all about introducing children to music and musical instruments. I love at the end of every live show when we come into the audience and invite the children to touch and play the musical instruments; this tactile experience creates real magical musical memories. By helping pre-schoolers and infant school children explore and have access to music, we are helping create the future music audience.
To find out more about Lah-Lah’s online music room or their popular TV and live shows go to lah-lah.com.
ING DIRECT’s Dreamstarter initiative provides funding support to selected StartSomeGood campaigns and helps Australia’s most inspiring go-getters make a positive change in Australian communities. To find out more about the program visit ingdirect.com.au/dreamstarter