This post is part of a monthly series called “I Am Canadian”. It is an opportunity for Canadians to use this blog as a forum to share a piece of their story. You can find out more and how you too can become featured at the bottom of the post.
Please support Stephanie Coldwell-Anderson as she shares, in her own words how Music has been her lifelong companion —
At the age of three I sat crouched hiding behind the kitchen counter at my cousins house, there was at least 4 of us hiding back there ( why we were in that situation alludes me now) and the topic of what we wanted to be when we grew up was posed, I never paused for a second, I boldly stated ” I want to be a singer” it was bold and at that age to all of cousins way out of reach. From that day, my life has been shaped by the music and musical experiences. Music held me together through the best and the worst times of my life. It was and is my constant companion, it is a part of me so deeply ingrained I can’t even imagine what kind of person or life I would have lived without music in my life.
Today, I now have the privilege to share with those around me and the world the music I have harboured within me to this day, I leave a bit of myself with every person I teach, every person I perform for and within every song I write. To evoke a love for music in anyway in a child or an adult is one of my greatest desires and one of the ways I hoped to do this was through original compositions, which has recently come to fruition.
I recently released my debut original children’s music album entitled Dreams– my goal with this album was to create music that would inspire, relate to and be reminiscent of childhood with musical accompaniment and tonal colours that would be enjoyable for the listener no matter the age be they young or young at heart. I had always wanted to write music for children and was more inspired to do so with my family members beginning the child rearing stages of their lives. My grandmother went from having six great grandchildren ( a constant number for many years) to over sixteen in less than three years- five of which were all born in one year. Watching and hearing the stories of these children as they grow and the challenges faced by their parents who had freshly entered the world of parenthood was inspirational to say the least. I thus began the process of creating music and songs that would capture the life and imagination of a child in that moment like a photograph. In a span of 7 months starting late 2013 I had written a total of 11 songs ( 5 of which are on this current album Dreams).
The first song that I wrote was Hayden’s Journey inspired by a child’s first experience with snow, something that we Canadians have in droves. The experience of winter when young is fun and amazing, with this song I tried to capture that feeling like a photo but with words and music. The magical experience of playing in snow for the very first time. Liam’s Farm* was a song meant to capture the innocence of play and imagination while incorporating my own real life memories of spending time on my grandparents farm. Though our family farm is no longer a functioning one the remnants of it’s existence still remain the barns, the tractors etc. though not used for their original purpose have become a let’s play farm for the next generation ( with adult supervision of course), it is adorable seeing them playing out in great grandma’s garden pretending to be farmer looking at his large crop. 🙂 If I were a Wizard steamed from a child’s wild imagination to become anything even something not of this world, this song was meant to capture the child’s fantasy world and yet show that a child still understands what is real and what is not.
Big Sisters incidentally came about when two of my cousins announced they were both having a second child. Both their daughter’s were apprehensive (to different extents) of the whole concept of another child coming home. One if memory serves was excited yet had moments of I’m not sure about this…, while the other clearly stated ” oh no! All done!” when her parents attempted to explain and show videos of mummies coming home with new babies. Though I gather she has adjusted well to being a wonderful big sister. I felt that if this was how these two toddlers felt then other children most likely felt the same way. So, I decided to write a song about how great it is to be a big sister and how much fun it can be, to help ease all children’s minds about the arrival of a new sibling. Last but not least the title song of my album Dreams Lullaby was inspired by newborn children and toddlers who were having trouble sleeping. My goal was to write a song that would be soothing both melodically and lyrically so that the child listening would easily drift to sleep and hopefully have amazing fun dreams where they can be anything and have all kinds of fun while asleep. This was to show children that sleeping can be just as fun as staying up and playing.
To bring joy to those who listen to this album and have it resonate with the listener and bring them a sense of companionship through listening to music or even to inspire them to nurture the music within them, will be a gift in itself.
Stephanie Coldwell-Anderson, BAM, BM, MMus is a Toronto, ON based Singer/ Songwriter. Though she specializes as classical vocal performance soloist, she enjoys singing folk, sacred, musical theatre, pop and jazz music. Stephanie has performed in solo recitals, musical theatre, opera, oratorio, church services, community fairs, music festivals and weddings throughout eastern Canada and England. Stephanie’s début children’s EP album with all original songs entitled Dreams can now be purchased on itunes.
If this CD sounds familiar it’s because Stephanie kindly gave us a copy and I’ve been sharing on Social Media about how much The Kids love it! In addition, I hosted a RT giveaway for an electronic version of the CD away last month.
* “Liam’s Farm” is Max’s favourite song and makes him want to clean!?
— Journeys of The Zoo (@zoojourneys) June 3, 2015
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|May 2015||Waiting for a Kidney and Pancreatic Transplant|
|February 2015||HELLP Syndrome|
|December 2014||Shea Butter|
|November 2014||Bayo Bundles|
|October 2014||Living Organ Donor – Jen Oram|
|September 2014||4 The Love of Mommy|
|February 2014||Cathy Thinking Out Loud|
|December 2013||Bouche Baby|
|November 2013||Dreams and Colour|
|October 2013||Nolan Wilson Freelance|
|September 2013||Sun 7 Designs|
|August 2013||In My 30’s and It’s Time|
|July 2013||The Koala Bear Writer|
|June 2013||The Great Canadian Blog Bash|
|May 2013||Mama Bear Haven|
|April 2013||YYZ Bambina|
|March 2013||Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts|
|February 2013||Gone With The Family|
|January 2013||Treasures from the Ark|
|November 2012||Life After My Kids|
|September 2012||Current Works of Glass|