If you have a wacky, cool and fun-loving performance style, enjoy hanging out with little humans and love seeing them dancing, singing and having a most excellent time, you might consider being someone who performs at children’s parties.
Consider this: happy, well-adjusted children = happy, well-adjusted parents.
Parents earn a living to ensure that their children are as happy and as well-adjusted as possible. Infant sign language classes, karate lessons, piano lessons, gymnastics and SPECTACULAR birthday celebrations are all part of their plan…and in their budgets.
Singers, musicians and composers like Brady Rymer, Laurie Berkner, The Wiggles and Dan Zanes have had substantial success in this genre, from playing steady gigs to making top-selling albums to having hit TV shows to receiving Grammy awards.
Wow, right? But hold on, let’s start with the party aspect first. There are a number of ways to consider starting out:
1) The Princess /Pirate / Mermaid / Batman Character Party
Okay, this is an all-in approach, as you will be in full costume and being paid to thoroughly amuse all the tiny humans at this event, so besides your musical chops, you’ll have to have on fleek hair/makeup/karaoke tracks/props/face painting/magic tricks/balloon animal-making skills. There are agencies who will train you…and also take a hefty percentage of the proceeds. You can train with a company, or not. Just know that you’ll be working for an hour or so playing some music…and doing lots of other stuff as well.
2) Kid Party Rocker / Country / Pop Performer
So you’ll perform a “concert” for the kiddos, and not have to worry that your balloon poodle popped again…sounds good, right? And since you’re dealing with smaller-than-adult attention spans, your set can probably be 45 minutes. But you can rock out with cool kid’s songs; once little ones are four or so, they like being told to do stuff so find songs with directions to follow. And do write some of your own (see the Brady Rymer/Laurie Berkner paragraph). Maybe even a special birthday tune for the birthday boy or girl?
3) Kid Pop / Rock / Country / Reggae / Whatever You Want Band
Now you’re talking. Three or more of you giving these kids the best day ever…how happy and well-adjusted would you be with a calendar filled with these kinds of gigs? Write your own songs, do covers in any genre, the sky’s the limit. Sing-alongs, dance-alongs, play-alongs (get the kids toy instruments and let them go nuts), contests and again…probably not for more than an hour or so. Sign me up, too, ha!
Go to Where the Gigs Are
Where are the gigs, you ask? You and/or your oh-so-cool children’s music band can start off by spreading the word about yourselves among friends who have kids, at local day-care centers and grade schools.
Other venues abound: after-school centers, martial arts studios, music studios, sports leagues, synagogue and church groups, summer camps, anywhere where kids – and their parents – gather.
Make sure you’ve got a website, business cards, etc. and brand the heck out of yourself with a cool name and a colorful attitude.
The joy you can spread in this type of professional singing career is endless, too, not to mention the inspiration. Imagine how many childrens’ musical worlds could be opened up as a result of your contributions.
Who knows, your songs and performances might be the reason the next little Bruno Mars will emerge into pop music… how cool would that be?
Jaime was a Musical Director, coaching voice and performance for Disney and wrote “Working With Your Voice: The Career Guide to Becoming a Professional Singer” (Alfred Publishing). As a session singer, she ‘jingled’ for Coke, Pillsbury, Folgers, Chevrolet, and hundreds more. She’s sung on thousands of live gigs (covers and original music) and toured for years with Leon Russell and Sam Moore. Jaime sang BGVs live and digitally with George Strait, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Webb, Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus, Johnny Mathis, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Willie Nelson and others. She performed off-Broadway in “Search: Paul Clayton”, toured nationally with “Old Jews Telling Jokes” and presently coaches students in voice, performance, beginner guitar/piano, studio singing, songwriting and auditioning in NY, CT, LA, Nashville and virtually. For bookings: www.workingwithyourvoice.com