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Edutainment

Craig & Co. (Craig Taubman)

Craig TaubmanCraig Taubman has been performing since nursery school. Well, actually, his wife, Louise, was a director of a nursery school, invited her husband to share some of his original tunes with her charges one fateful day in 1987, and children's music has been a better place ever since. I sat down with Craig one evening to learn more about this multi-talented creator of Craig & Co.

I've known Craig since the late 1980s when I was producing the TAFFY Festival and he offered to perform for free to get the fledgling event off the ground. But his interest in music surfaced long before that. He and his three siblings had a preteen singing group called The NewMelody, but, Craig confesses, they didn't come from musical parents. "Dad couldn't carry a tune in a bucket," he recalls.

After recording a couple of albums with sister Caren Glasser (now a cantor), he got the attention of the then-neophyte Disney Channel. Makin' Music was filmed as a popular Kaleidoscope concert special, followed by the release of Rock 'n Toontown, celebrating the opening of the Disneyland attraction. "I was very fortunate. Extraordinary exposure, resources and great experience came from working with Disney," he says.

Craig Taubman with familyInitially, Craig wrote music "that I was told parents and kids wanted to hear and sing about. Traditional family and car music." But after becoming a parent, he started to "think about what kids might be feeling." Hence, two of his most popular songs, "Haircut" and "Mom's Baby," deal with real feelings of fear, jealousy and abandonment using clever lyric, gentle reassurance and fresh perspective. His two talented children, Noah, 10, and Abby, 9, sing on his albums; his music company, Sweet Louise, is named for his wife; and I wouldn't be at all surprised if their dog, cat and koi fish are dancers in Craig's live shows.

Some serious gems of wisdom swam to the surface during our conversation. For example:

  • Craig on Music: "I've found in my years of teaching and being with kids and being a parent that music is a language that is very powerful. It affects not just their mind, but their hearts, souls, and very being."

  • On Listening: "My grandfather who patiently listened when my son Noah was four years old. He demonstrated respect for the individual in the child. God gave us two ears and one mouth so we'd listen twice as much."

Evident in Craig's concerts is his joy in being close to his audience. Since parents make up at least half of each audience at kid's concerts, they need to be engaged — and Craig's mastered the "Bored Parent Syndrome." He'll have plenty of opportunities to make use of this talent in the near future with a new stage show, and as producer/performer for a summer concert series at the University of Judaism (Los Angeles). Also in the works: more recordings and a book of poetry.

Craig Taubman's credo is written on a museum wall in Tel Aviv. "To Remember the Past, to Live for the Day and to Trust in Your Future." Cheers.

For more information on Craig & Co., contact 1-800-6-CRAIG-8 or (818) 760-1077.


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