Let's jam! 🎹 🎸 🥁 🎺 In this episode, we learn how music can change your mood and if musicians have to write songs. Join us as our host Emily Calandrelli chats with Fernando Moguel, a musician and songwriter who was just 6 years old when he decided to dedicate his life to music.
Discover fun activities and songs that will teach your child all about collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication in the Lingokids app! 💙
Boy: When I grow up, I want to be a musician.
Emily: What does being a musician mean to you?
Boy: They play piano, tuba, and violin. Some can sing. They write words. They wear beautiful clothes and can play guitar.
When I grow up--
Singer: I want to be a pilot,
With a uniform white,
Always flying high up in the sky.
Boy: When I grow up--
Singer: I want to be a firefighter, putting out flames,
Or maybe a police officer keeping people safe.
It's so fun to learn what you can be,
Growing up, growing up.
Boy: When I grow up--
Singer: I want to be an artist that paints portraits,
I want to be a scientist that does experiments,
Oh, so many people you will meet,
Growing up, growing up.
Boy: Growing up.
Singer: Growing up.
Emily: Hi, and welcome to Growing up with Emily, a Lingokids podcast helping amazing kids to grow up and be even more amazing. Emily-- It's me. As a kid, I was always asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I wanted to be so many things. Does that sound familiar? Then, I am glad you're listening. You are going to find out what it takes to be anything you want. Are you ready to make playing music your superpower?
Singer: Growing up, growing up, growing up
Emily: Last episode, we met Patrick Hawkins, a soloist with the Boston Ballet. Today, we're shining a spotlight on another cool grown-up-- A musician. Have you ever heard a live concert? If you've dreamed of being a musician when you grow up, you won't want to miss this episode. Today, we're going to meet a real musician. Before we meet him, let's talk a little about music.
Singer: Growing up, growing up.
Emily: The first music ever heard probably came from nature. A bird singing. The rhythmic pounding of a rainstorm. The warning of a rattlesnake. Humans may have started making sounds by hitting basic drums, blowing into a shell, or shaking a gourd with dried-up seeds. Eventually, they figured out how to make all sorts of instruments. The great thing is-- Anybody can play around with making sounds, but sometimes, it's just noise. A musician is special.
Boy: Special in what way?
Emily: For example, musicians make sounds that create a mood and change how we feel. Music can bring us up, listen to this.
Or calm us down.
Today, we're going to hear how musicians help to tell a story in a play. Like in the previous episodes, we continue our tour around the theater. From what I can see, the stage is set up to look like a spring day. The backdrop, a painted cloth hung at the back of the stage, shows a forest. There are colorful flowers covering the stage, and big paper butterflies hanging from the ceiling. Hear that instrument? It's a flute. It sounds like springtime.
The play is about to begin. This play is a story about an unusual friendship. Oh, an actor dressed like a bunny entered the stage. She's happily hopping among the flowers, chasing the butterflies. What a difference the music makes. One of the musicians made those sounds on a piano. Now, another character has entered. It's a-- I don't know. It's like a little monster. He's sneaking up on the bunny. The music you hear comes from a cello.
Its deep sound creates a spooky scene, don't you think? The bunny sees the monster and is frozen with fright. She's shaking. The monster grabs the bunny's front paws, the bunny is on its back legs, the monster is looking into her eyes.
Boy: Emily, this is getting really scary.
Emily: I told you. Music alone can make you feel all sorts of emotions. Oh, the drum sounds like a heart stomping, what's going to happen? You won't believe it. The monster smiled and twirled the bunny. It wants to dance with her. The jazzing music certainly changed the mood. The monster and the bunny are swinging around. They're laughing and having fun. Wow, what a performance.
At first, I felt calm. Then I wanted to cry, and now, I'm full of joy. Music magically helps us feel different emotions along with the story. Time for a break. Let's interview the person sitting by the piano. Are you ready to meet a real musician?
Emily: Excuse me. We are here to see Fernando Moguel.
Fernando: Over here, Emily.
Emily: Oh, hi, Fernando. I'm with Lingokids, and we want to find out what it takes to be a musician. Can we ask some questions?
Fernando: Absolutely. I would be happy to tell you all about that.
Emily: Well, I've heard that you and music are lifelong friends, that you write and sing music, and that you were one of The Wiggles.
Boy: What? You were one of The Wiggles?
Fernando: That's right. Music has always been a love of mine. It's a passion. Ever since I was little, my father taught me singing. Then, they got me into piano classes. I was fortunate to be a part of, like you said, The Wiggles. Singing, dancing performing. It's always been a part of my life and I really, really love it. Music is a beautiful thing.
Emily: How was it? Do you miss it? What do you miss most about The Wiggles?
Fernando: I definitely miss performing onstage. Performing onstage is an amazing experience. Performing to children all around the world is just so rewarding, so fantastic, and bringing joy to everyone.
Emily: That sounds like so much fun. Tell us, what are three things all musicians need?
Fernando: Sure, yes. Well, first-- Musicians should know how to use their instrument. That's very important. That's how you play the music. That can be a piano, that can be a guitar, percussion, drums. Even other less known instruments, like the balalaika, which is a Russian folk instrument. Even your voice can be an instrument, too. Singers are musicians. It's also important to know how to work together with other people, because we musicians, we work with all kinds of different people, from other musicians, to producers.
Very important to know how to work with other people. Finally, musicians should have very good rhythm, so they can play along to a beat, or to other musicians, as well. Playing along is a part of being a musician, so having good rhythm helps.
Emily: Very interesting. We have also received some excellent questions from our Lingokids listeners.
Boy: Do musicians have to write songs? What if I can sing, but can't write and rhyme?
Fernando: That's a great question. A lot of musicians do write their music, some know how to read it, some know how to write it. You don't necessarily need to know how to write a song. You may know how to write a melody, play a melody, create a melody, but maybe you're not so good with lyrics or writing the words of a song. That's why I mentioned that it's important to know how to work with other people, because that's what you do.
You bring people together that are great at many different parts of music, many different fields and areas so that you work together to create music in different ways.
Boy: How do you decide which instrument to play?
Fernando: That's a hard question. Me, personally, I love so many different instruments. I actually love collecting instruments. I mentioned the balalaika. I have a Russian balalaika that I love playing. My main instrument is the piano. My parents got me into piano at a very young age, which I'm very grateful for. Then, from there, I started learning others, like guitar, and percussion, but piano is my main one.
It really is like having a favorite color. You may have an instrument that you like, and you love listening to, so maybe that's the instrument that you want to learn how to play. The great thing about music is-- Once you know one instrument, and you know a lot about music, you can use that knowledge to learn how to play other instruments. I think that's great.
Boy: How do you hear what you're playing, when the other instruments are so loud?
Fernando: That can be a challenge. Usually, whenever there's a band playing, there's someone who is on the side or in the back, who is putting all of the sounds together. They're called an engineer, a sound engineer. Of course, as a musician, it's very important to know how to listen. You can be good at playing an instrument, but it's also important to listen to others and follow along, try to follow what the whole group is doing. Again, going back to being a good team player, and knowing how to work with others.
Boy: How old were you when you decided you'd want to be a musician?
Fernando: It's funny because my father is a musician. He sings, he plays the guitar. Both my parents, they love music. From a very early age, they played for my brother and I, all kinds of music. My dad taught me singing, probably when I was about five years old, or six, started doing basic lessons, teaching me how to sing. I think from a very early age, probably around four, five, six years old, I knew that I wanted music to be a part of my life.
Emily: Wow. Do you think that this is what you're going to do forever?
Fernando: Oh yes, absolutely. Music will always be a part of my life. I will always make music. I do it for work. I do it as a job, as part of my job, but even if it wasn't part of my job, I would continue to do it always. It's something that I love.
Emily: Thanks for sharing with us. Now, the exciting part of the podcast-- The tips part, when our guest shares some tips on what kids can do now, while they're still growing up, to become a musician.
Fernando: Okay, yes. Whether you want to be a scientist, an engineer, or an artist, you practice. You practice, practice, practice. Also, I think one of the best things that you can do, if you love music and you want to play music, is to listen to all kinds of music. It starts with listening. There's so many genres out there, from all parts of the world. The more you listen to different kinds of music, I think the more you learn. Even if you're not playing it, even if you're just listening. Always listen.
Emily: Ah, so really listen to the different sounds,
Boy: Wind instruments.
[wind instruments playing]
Emily: Even electronic.
Do you know someone who plays an instrument? Ask them lots of questions, too. We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Growing Up podcast. Go ahead. Find the sounds that make your heart sing, and wear earplugs if the music is too loud. Remember-- You're growing up each and every day. Tune in next time, when we meet a real police officer.
Boy: To live a full interactive learning adventure, check out our Lingokids app, with tons of games and activities for endless fun.
Singer: It's so fun to learn what you can be,
Growing up, growing up.
Come and join us, come, everyone,
So we can learn while having lots of fun,
Because it's so fun to learn what you can be,
Yes, it's so fun to learn what you can be,
Growing up, growing up, growing up.
[00:14:52] [END OF AUDIO]