Teaching children the magic of music is songwriter Sharon Shaheed's longtime passion. Dr. Robin talks with Sharon, a speaker at Maria Shriver's 2007 Women's Conference in California, about her company Play Music Systems and her love of teaching young people.
Sharon says she came to Los Angeles more than 20 years ago to live near her sister, Phoebe, and to forge a songwriting career. The mainstream music of the day, with sexual undertones, did not appeal to Sharon and she says she decided to go a different path and write songs for children instead. "I can write about things that I respect and I like and put it into the vein that [both] children and parents want to hear," she says.
Sharon and Phoebe, both educated in music, opened Piano Play Music Systems, a music center and company that develops curriculum and music to educate kids as young as 19 months old. "We took the time to nurture our program to make sure that the songs, the element of what we were teaching, were not only going to express the educational aspect of learning music but also the spiritual nurturing," she says.
Piano Play Music System's programs teach kids, through songs, lessons about sharing and kindness, Sharon says. The programs also show them how to identify instruments and read music. "We have to get these young children to be able speak to each other to learn how to work with each other," she says. "We have to empower our children because they are the next speakers for our lives."