Par­ents urged to feel the noise

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Sara Fitz­patrick

TINA Har­ris has a mes­sage for par­ents: get out your pots, pans and bot­tles filled with rice and lentils and let your lit­tle ones bang away.

Best known as stripy-sock songstress Lahlah, of ABC KIDS TV se­ries Lah-lah’s Ad­ven­tures, Har­ris is sing­ing the praises of early child­hood music.

She said mak­ing noise at home while music was play­ing could have enor­mous ben­e­fits for pre-school­ers and younger kids, help­ing with brain devel­op­ment, so­cial skills, phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and read­ing.

“Re­search has been done re­cently where they can show that a lit­tle one, about three or four, who can tap along in time to music is ac­tu­ally ready to learn to read,” the Syd­ney-based singer said. “With a lit­tle one who can’t do that, they can usu­ally track where they will have de­vel­op­men­tal is­sues with read­ing and writ­ing.

“It’s some­thing that par­ents have prob­a­bly heard a lit­tle bit about but there should be more out there so mums and dads can see how ben­e­fi­cial music is for their lit­tle ones.”

Har­ris fell into early child­hood music ed­u­ca­tion af­ter sing­ing with Opera Aus­tralia for many years.

Af­ter her daugh­ters were born – now 12 and 14 – she left the com­pany and put her music de­grees to good use, re-rain­ing and open­ing a music class. The class turned into a school and the school turned into four schools.

Now Tina and hus­band Mark (known as Buzz from the TV show) have a pop­u­lar on­go­ing TV se­ries and per­form live shows with the Lah-lah band, in­clud­ing the new tour Hav­ing Fun!.

She said she bal­anced work, fam­ily and health (she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer five years ago and is now fully re­cov­ered) “with med­i­ta­tion”.

““It makes a huge dif­fer­ence and I’ve been do­ing it ever since the can­cer,” she said.

Tina Har­ris with the Lah-lah band.

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