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The Power of Music

Published: 06/15/2009 by Melissa Mart

» Education & Learning Support

Every teacher hopes to find interesting and innovative ways to teach and reinforce specific educational goals they have for their students. Music is one of those ways!

Music can be a powerful tool to assist knowledge to stick as children have a special connection with music. It is intriguing to them because of the rhythm and repetitive lyrics; these all play a role in helping the brain learn new concepts.

Whether we know it or not, most of us have benefited from music as a learning tool. Think of a song that you learned as a child. What made it stick? Chances are it had repetitive lyrics and a recurring melody. It may also have included hand gestures or miming that reinforced the lyrics. Songs can help us remember and use language—it’s no wonder the alphabet was set to music.

Music therapy, an activity where children and adults with disabilities become involved with the music, helps foster and maintain mental, physical and emotional health. Music therapy also helps these individuals improve self-awareness of their environment, self-esteem, attention span, motor skills and communication. Music can also help children of all abilities take turns, following directions and make choices.

Attending a live educational concert is great for many reasons. For one thing, all children love to get out of the “regular academic realm of things” and a live concert is just the ticket. Because these concerts are very entertaining while being educational, they are also highly interactive. It’s always a lot of fun for children to clap, sing and move to with the music along with performers and fellow audience members at the concert.

Professional children’s entertainers are not just known for singing “Wheels on the Bus” or “Old McDonald Had a Farm” for two- and three-year olds. Many of Canada’s children’s entertainers have skillfully crafted original songs into entertaining and educational concerts for schools and homeschool groups. Students and educators alike have praised these concerts, which reinforce concepts such as literacy, anti-bullying, and environment and safety issues. Some children’s entertainers only perform in their home province, while others travel to various parts of Canada and into the United States.

Here is just a taste of children’s entertainers available to book for a fun, interactive and educational experience.

Dan the Music Man

Dan Devion, is better known as “Dan the Music Man” in Toronto and surrounding areas, and Alberta. He performs approximately 200 shows per year, and has been doing this since the early 1990s.

Fun is what you will find at a Dan the Music Man concert, mixed with messages of unity, imagination, merriment and the magic of youth.

For example “Love The World” performance is perfect to celebrate Earth Week in April, or for school environmental programs. This performance empowers kids to pursue environmental initiatives and projects that begin in their own backyards and schools.


Mary Lambert

Two-time Juno nominee Mary Lambert is a children’s entertainer from Kingston, Ontario. She is helping to do just that through a fun, musical, entertaining and educational show called “Sing Out Fire Safety.”

“Sing Out Fire Safety” is geared to children JK to Grade 5, is an hour long, and the local fire department participates to make it even more meaningful.


Smudge Fundaes

The crowd-pleasing children’s group of Suzanne Nicks and Sandie Thomson is better known as The Smudge Fundaes.

The Smudge Fundaes hail from St. Catherine’s, Ontario, and perform all across Ontario and parts of the
United States.

Books Rule

Books rule! This is the message that The Smudge Fundaes teach children in this hour-long show. Nicks and Thomson dress up as a book and pencil for this performance. During the show you will experience catchy, upbeat songs, lots of audience participation, some science and geography games, a few spelling challenges, and elements of a book. Put it all together and you have a winning reading resource!


Ron Hiller (also known as Ronno) has been sharing his passion of music to educate children throughout Canada and the United States since 1989.

Ronno’s latest projects have revolved around Brain Gym; exercises to help stimulate whole-brain integration. Teaming up with Liz Jones-Twomey, a classmate from teacher’s college who has become a popular Brain Gym instructor, Ronno helped co-develop a program called “Catch a Brain Wave!” This program brings the concepts of Brain Gym alive with the right mixture of songs and specific brain-based, sequential movements that lead to increased fitness and brain power.


Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell loves Canada. He is a former Infantry Officer with The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, a former songwriter and recording artist for Sesame Street, Officer of the Order Military Merit, and author. Mitchell shares his love for his country with children all over Canada with his critically acclaimed concert, “Canada is for Kids.”


Markus performs across Canada and the United States with his unique educational concert programs.

One of these programs is about helping kids cultivate an interest in the music industry. The career choices that are explored in a fun and informative fashion include songwriting, jingles, film music, TV music, performing, teaching, and more. This music industry workshop is geared to students in grades 4 to 8.


The Manners Lady

Judi Vankevich, otherwise known as “Judi the Manners Lady,” is the president and founder of The Manners Club and Life Skills International. Vankevich lives in Langley, British Columbia, but influences and empowers kids across Canada and the United States to have good manners in every situation in life. 

Erick Traplin

Since 1989, Erick Traplin has become a sought after children’s entertainer with his fun, high-energy, interactive concerts. 

A popular concert performed by Traplin and Dorothy Bowman (storyteller) is called “Bullies and Heroes.”

In this 50-minute entertaining and informative concert children learn about bullying and its effects. They also learn about ways to deal with the bullying they see portrayed through the stories and songs. Concepts that are explored in “Bullies and Heroes” include what bullying is and strategies to empower children who are victims and targets of bullying as well as strategies to empower peer helpers. 


Depending on your needs and location, an educational concert will range anywhere from $400 to $1,000. You’ll find this money well spent when you see the great impact an educational concert can make to you and your students!

Music Resources

The Children’s Music Network (CMN)

The Children’s Music Web


Morton Subotnick’s Creating Music