|If you’re looking for meaningful songs to sing with little ones, you’ll love to sing along with Nancy Kopman! (@musicwithnancy)|
Get ready to meet a creative soul who writes music “with a purpose”: Love, validation, and guidance for each and every listener…including grown-ups!
I first met Nancy through our mutual friend Shauna Lindzon, and then again through Lisa Borden, who published Get Up through her company Borden Communications.
Several years ago, when I was asking mentors to share some wisdom for my book Get Up, Lisa encouraged me to contact Nancy for some wise words. In particular, an answer to my question:
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR TEENAGE SELF?
And I’m glad I did because Nancy knows that developing positive self-talk skills during early childhood lays down a strong foundation that helps young people navigate through their teenage years. Lisa knew that Nancy would give contribute a positive perspective to my question, and she was right. Before you listen to Nancy’s music, take a deep dive into what she has to share.
Who is Nancy Kopman?
I’m an Early Childhood Educator, children’s music composer, recording artist, performer, and educational content creator.
Please share your journey to becoming a music teacher or performer.
|I actually don’t think of myself as a “music teacher”, because I don’t teach music. I use music as a tool to teach.|
My journey began as a preschool and kindergarten teacher. I have always been musically focused/trained, and I sang a lot throughout the preschool/kindergarten daily routines. As an ECE (Early Childhood Educator), I found that using songs as a way to capture attention, introduce transitions and practice early childhood concepts and skills (language cues, positive self-talk, memorizing information) was always successful.
Using songs to teach was so effective with my students that I felt compelled to focus my attention on writing, developing, testing, refining, recording, and sharing my own songs, which I now share in person and online. This is where I find myself in my life’s work now.
What is your favourite song and why?
There are different reasons why some of my songs are my “favourites”. Some I like to listen to because I enjoy the harmonies, chord changes, instrumentation, and arrangements. There are songs that I feel have an important value because of the way the lyrics help children develop positive self-talk and emotional regulation strategies. Some are my favourties for group performances because it’s so touching to hear and see children singing and reciting the lyrics (like “I Am A Tree”, a poem that has gone viral in classrooms across the world). So I guess my answer is “a lot of them, but for different reasons.” Ha ha.
Has singing in front of an audience taught you anything?
So many things. The most important thing I have learned is to connect with audience members, comment on what I see them doing, and offer positive feedback/ reinforcement, so they feel seen and valued as part of the whole experience. That small act is so meaningful to children and their families – and it makes them so proud.
Let’s unpack your quote: What did you mean by:
“You have a purpose in life. A reason for being here. Look around for it… you’ll find clues everywhere. Listen to what people say you’re good at and build on those things. Collect experiences and build your purpose organically as it grows, adjusts, and clarifies.”
|I truly believe every life has a purpose in our community and in the world. Every child has special qualities that make them unique. They thrive when they are nurtured and encouraged to focus/build on their natural talents, interests, and inclinations. |
If we encourage children to listen to and focus on the good things people notice about them, it helps them to look for “clues” as to what they can cultivate and contribute with pride and authenticity. This has definitely been my experience, and the reason why I wrote my song, “Wonderful You”.
I look forward to listening to and sharing Nancy’s songs with the little ones in my life. What could be better than to sing with someone who helps you feel valued and encourages you to unleash your full potential through the power of music?