Category Archives: Radio and TV

Parenting and Music are Both about Moments

Amy, Jason and Holly from the Jungle Gym Jam in the family/band minivan with Holly on ukuleleAs a dad who’s also a musician, I perceive links between these two facets of who I am. I’ve been learning as an entertainer the importance of creating moments onstage, not just playing a bunch of songs. These moments touch on an emotion, a sense of humor, a shared experience among everyone (big and small) in the audience that they will remember after seeing the show.

This line of thought was largely something I learned from Tom Jackson’s Onstage Success program about how to make shows that matter to an audience. Tom’s the one who worked with Taylor Swift, Jars of Clay and numerous other bands to craft great moments from the stage. He credits artists like Bruce Springsteen and U2 with having an expert understanding of creating moments in a show.

Great Family Moments Make Great Family Memories

It struck me how much this also applies to parenting. Our time as a parent to young children is limited and when the kids get bigger, we share a memory in common with our kids of the family experience. As parents, what kinds of moments can we create? Silly moments, serious moments, “lightbulb” moments of breakthroughs in learning, moments of giving back to the community?

Are your memories of special family moments touched best by looking at pictures you took some time ago? Thinking about a special day you enjoyed together? Talking about a common memory at the dinner table? What is it about your strongest, clearest memories that set them apart from the less memorable moments?

I hope these thoughts help you keep your family connections strong and vibrant. It can be hard among all the digital distractions we live with (it’s often hard for me), our careers and running a household to make time to make memories, but so rewarding any time you can break out of your bubble and fully engage in this beautiful process.

The Music and Family Memory Connection

I started by mentioning a connection between making moments onstage and making moments as a parent. When you take kids to a live concert, especially one of my shows, you’re making family memories. Moments of eye contact between performer and each member of the audience, moments of audience participation, sharing a laugh between parent and child over a silly lyric, these are all moments my band and I create in order to fill your family up with experiences and memories. And then a cool thing happens — you all in the audience become part of my family’s memories too!

Let’s make some wonderful memories together that we can talk with our future grown-up kids about: Visit my tour calendar for info on my upcoming shows, both in-person and live, online concerts you can experience from anywhere in the world!
I’d love to hear your parenting thoughts based on this piece I shared. We’re all on this parenting journey together; I think our conversation can help us all keep up the good work! Please comment below.

Radio Spotlight – Theme Attic with Phil Maq on WHFR-FM Dearborn, MI

Radio host Phil MaqMichigan radio host Phil Maq ( has his own approach to categorizing music. To Phil there are really only two genres: “Good music” and “everything else.” When he fits a sampling of that sizable pool of the “good music” that resonates with Phil and his WHFR-FM listeners into an engaging and topical theme, the result is often surprising and satisfying at the same time. When the theme is a “road trip,” you might hear a Beatles song, followed by the work of a band that specializes in children’s music, followed by Frank Sinatra belting out “Route 66.” When you start enjoying music to a theme instead of one specific genre, the words, melodies and rhythms have a way of transporting you.

–> Tune into WHFR-FM at your computer now.

The kids’ music is where I come into the picture. After noticing some twitter interaction between fellow kindie artist Joanie Leeds and Phil Maq about radio airplay, I naturally reacted by offering my singles for Phil to share on the show. Since the summer, Phil has given my songs a reliable home on his Wednesday morning program and includes songs I’ve written both for children and for adults, as the theme calls for it. Other kindie artists have been known to pop up in Phil’s playlist, since the lyric ideas in kindie songs are quite varied. You’ll probably find a few kindie songs that fits any given theme Phil cooks up.

I tune in just about every Wednesday that I can, whether or not I’m in the playlist that day, because it’s a fascinating listen and it’s fun to “play along” with Phil, thinking up other songs that would fit the theme. If you’re in or around Dearborn, MI, tune in to 89.3 FM. From anywhere else in the world, listen live at on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM Eastern to 12:00 noon.

Phil’s show has inspired me to run a new daily ritual on Facebook. As a parent, I come up with a parenting playlist theme every day. Recent themes have been “Nursing your Kid Back to Health”, “Supermarket Meltdown”, “Halloween Candy Hangover” and “Play Date!” I pick the first song title and open up the comments for fellow parents to add their song ideas. To play along with me, simply like our Facebook page.