#SupportingFamilies: Tunes to Enjoy Together

Originally Published in LA Parent on March 13, 2020

By Elena Epstein

Music has a wonderful way of bringing joy into our lives and a dance party in your kitchen, and is a great distraction from the 24-hour news cycle that’s become our lives lately. These family-friendly albums are all NAPPA Award winners.

Small But Mighty, by Ginalina

This album features songs in French, Portuguese and Mandarin along with instruments including a “tres” (a Cuban guitar) and a “cavaquinho” (a Portuguese guitar). Ginalina’s tunes touch topics involving nature, inclusiveness and family and the acclaimed Canadian family musician is especially adept with her uplifting songs of encouragement.



Children on Parade by Bay Song

Composed by the husband/wife duo John and Jo-Anne, this album instills an endearing home-crafted quality. The couple, long-time teachers, have created a lighthearted record with a fun focus on food-inspired tunes: “Cookin’ Up A Song,” “Blueberry Blues,” and “Mac ‘n’ Cheese Overture.”



Sharon & Bram and Friends

Institutions in the children’s music world, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison spent decades, as 2/3 of the hugely popular trio, Sharon, Lois and Bram and, for most of the 21 century, performed as a duo after Lois Lilienstein’s retirement (she passed away in 2015). The two recently had their 40 anniversary farewell tour; however, they haven’t totally said goodbye, and this terrific album reveals that their music-making is as vital as ever. In their songs, they talk about having a peaceful world, the joys of playing an instrument, and the importance of compassion in ways that are straightforward but playful and engaging for young listeners. Fans, old and young, also will be pleased to know that the album concludes on a new “Skinnamarinky” note. Casablanckids.com


Heartsongs of the Rainbow

Created by a pediatric speech pathologist with the goal of uplifting,inspiring, nurturing and supporting those in the Special Needs Community. This album can also be enjoyed by all children. Murphy’s friendly, warm vocals hold an expressiveness (a bit of old school folk and a touch of Broadway) that draws in young listeners’ attention.



Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut Trees: Lullabies and Nursery Rhyme from West Africa and the Caribbean

An enchanting collection of 23 traditional songs that pays homage to the rich cultural heritage and multilingual communities of West Africa and the Caribbean. Stories about children playing in the schoolyard at recess, sisters braiding each other’s hair at the beach, and parents dancing and singing late into the night mesh together thanks to the music. songsintheshade


Moove to the Moozika!

Bilingual singer-songwriter and music educator Jesse Goldman brings an even dozen of the biggest hits from his acclaimed, Brooklyn-based Moozika! music classes and Moozika! band to his debut family album. This playful collection of city-based adventure songs in Spanish and English encompasses an eclectic mix of styles – folk, jazz, samba, blues, ranchera, pop, Latin, rock, and house music. http://Moozika.com


Sing With Me by Tracy Newman

This collection is all about sharing the joys of an “unhurried childhood” with infectious and fun tunes that entertain and teach important life lessons. The whole family will want to sing and dance along to these whimsical songs about food, dinosaurs, trains, walking for the first time, a new baby sister and more. http://Runalonghome.com



Beneath the Cherry Tree by by Kare Strong & Josh Goforth

A happy groundhog, a little bluebird and chickens on Blackberry Lane. There are flowers, fairies and farm critters – including a festive party for a pig. This menagerie of animals, nature and fanciful creatures are all beautifully brought to life through this lovely album. http://www.Karenstrongmusic.com



All I Do Is Hop by Grin Brigade

While hopping between various musical styles and singers, the CD creates an energetic eclecticism for listeners to enjoy. There are comical ditties (like the country rocker “Mr. Ticklebone”) and message songs (such as the bilingual “Mi Pelota”). In “High-Paying Job,” a kid voices his money concerns, while children are just looking for fun in “Halloween Party Tonight.”Also contains amusing educational numbers like the “Dog Alphabet Song,” the counting tune “One Fuzzy Caterpillar” and “Otter Facts.” Songwizard.com


Under the Big Umbrella by Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could

Delivers an uplifting celebration to the culture of kindness. The messages of compassion and inclusiveness are presented in wonderfully catchy melodies that will get kids and parents dancing. “Drop In The Bucket” and “Different Is Beautiful (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)” really rock out, while “Stick Up Stand Up” projects an early ‘60s R&B vibe. http://Bradyrymer.com

LA Parent Magazine