TV pro­ducer Jill Littman opens Songs for Seeds in Wayne

Also work­ing on “Weird but True!”

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Linda Stein lstein@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @lstein­re­porter on Twit­ter

WAYNE >> Pro­fes­sion­ally, Jill Littman wears two hats.

The Malvern mom and ca­reer tele­vi­sion pro­ducer has opened a new busi­ness, Songs for Seeds, that of­fers an up­dated “Mommy and Me” mu­sic ex­pe­ri­ence with a three-piece band for ba­bies and young chil­dren, new­born to 6 years old, said owner Jill Littman. The pro­gram is for dads and care­tak­ers, as well, Littman is quick to add.

Each 45-minute class in­cludes a “rockin’ fun gui­tar player, key­board player and drum­mer,” she said. The kids play chil­dren’s in­stru­ments, real drums, gui­tars, key­boards and also in­stru­ments from around the world. Classes are held at Club LaMai­son Health & Fit­ness in Wayne. In ad­di­tion to orig­i­nal mu­sic, the Songs for Seeds classes fea­ture colors, num­bers, let­ter sounds and mu­sic from coun­tries around the world.

“I’m com­pletely un­tal­ented mu­si­cally my­self but my step­daugh­ter and son are very tal­ented,” said Littman. Her step­daugh­ter, Gina Cas­tanzo, 19, now a fresh­man at James Madi­son Uni­ver­sity, per­formed on “The Voice” last year, tak­ing a gap year after high school to com­pete un­der the stage name Gina Zo. And her son, Tyler DeTulleo, 14, plays key­board and some­times fills in at Songs for Seeds, she said. Both kids helped her with au­di­tions for the mu­si­cians, Littman said. Her clos­est child­hood friend, Al­li­son Sch­langer, who she met at sum­mer camp, founded Ap­ple Seeds and Songs for Seeds in New York and sug­gested the fran­chise op­por­tu­nity to Littman. Littman opened it in April and now has about 40 young pupils tak­ing the les­sons in four classes each week (www.songs­forseeds.com/ pa/wayne).

Wear­ing her other hat, Littman, 46, also pro­duces “Weird but True!” a tele­vi­sion show for kids that runs at 11:30 a.m. Satur­days on Fox in the Philadel­phia area. That pro­gram will also air on Na­tional Geo­graphic

Wild, she said.

“I’m a pro­ducer by trade,” said Littman, who co-pro­duced “Restau­rant: Im­pos­si­ble” on the Food Net­work and “The Dug­gars” for TLC. She’s work­ing with Steve Rot­feld Pro­duc­tions in Bryn Mawr on “Weird but True!”

“Jill has a can-do at­ti­tude and is a real cre­ative spirit,” said Rot­feld. “She also hap­pens to be a nat­u­ral with kids, and it shows in her work. She’s been a great ad­di­tion to our Nat Geo Kids’ ‘Weird But True’ se­ries.”

They’ve filmed in sev­eral area lo­ca­tions, such as Her­shey Park, Great Ad­ven­ture, the Penn Vet Work­ing Dog Cen­ter and the Monell Chem­i­cal Senses Cen­ter, said Littman.

“Each episode is a dif­fer­ent sci­ence topic,” said Littman. “I’ve been learn­ing stuff.” She’s also thrilled that the show is of in­ter­est to Tyler and her younger son, 12-year-old Cameron DeTulleo, and to her hus­band, Paul Cas­tanzo, a bi­ol­ogy teacher at Pottstown High School. She’s also step­mom to Alex Cas­tanzo, 24.

Littman, who grew up in Lafayette Hill, stud­ied com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware.

“I think I got lucky,” said Littman, when asked about how she be­came a tele­vi­sion pro­ducer. “I feel like I fell into it.” Iron­i­cally, the first thing she pro­duced was a mu­sic video with Banyan Pro­duc­tions.

“I just loved it,” said Littman. “And I kept get­ting jobs. I love it so much. I feel like I’m good at it and I get to do it all the time.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Kat Stein, front left, Keely Si­bilia, front right, Eric Sher­man, back left, Jill Littman, back mid­dle, and Joey DeNoble, back left. Jill Littman with Songs for Seeds band.

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