Zeamu Music – www.zeamumusic.com – is a newly-launched music label specifically for children aged 4 to 11. Originally the idea of child psychologist Barbara Bishop, Zeamu comprises a collective of some of the music industry’s hottest producers, musicians and composers. This includes the likes of Jonathan Pilcher (Lana Del Ray, Athlete) and Grammy-nominated Owen Parker (Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys, Simple Minds). Their mission is to create pop music exclusively for primary school children.
The Zeamu songs all feature age-appropriate lyrics in a mix of music styles from pop to hip-hop to ballads. Sung by children, they are set in the world of the Zeamus – animated characters set against a real-world backdrop with whom kids readily identify.
Zeamu co-founder, Fi Case, takes up the story: “This year has seen some really exciting developments for Zeamu with uptake by kids and parents of its digital offering on our website as well as via our social media channels including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Babies and toddlers have age-appropriate lullabies and nursery rhymes but there’s nothing for primary children other than mainstream pop. Whilst they can enjoy the music, the lyrics are expressly written for adults which means youngsters cannot relate to them and miss out on 50% of the experience.
Zeamu Music has brought out its first CD featuring songs about bullying, nightmares and even the joy of summer holidays. Zeamu’s Barbara Bishop takes up the story: “We tend to forget that, for young children, emotions surrounding friendship or bullying are as intense as love and heartbreak that most adult songs focus on. Providing kids with music they can relate to reassures them they’re not alone, that other children experience these problems and gives them a platform to express themselves”.
Teachers and professionals working with primary age children have welcomed the move. Stephanie Watts of Hollymount School in London, who was involved in trialling Zeamu Music, added: “Zeamu Music is a regular feature in my classroom. Not only do the children really enjoy listening to the songs but they support topics we cover in the national curriculum such as bullying and friendship. What’s more, it’s great to be able to confidently play an album made for kids and sung by them which is not in the least bit patronising.”
Whilst industry professionals have written the music and produced the tracks, Zeamu have used school children to sing all of the songs. Videos have also been created using 13 animated kids called the Zeamus. Each one represents a different music genre.
Another CD is planned for later this year and Zeamu Music is currently researching which topics primary school children would like to have songs written about.
With its origins as a contemporary music label for kids, Zeamu will be a truly unique and refreshing offering for the viewer, consumer, broadcaster and licensing community.
Young children often find it difficult to verbalise their feelings, especially when there’s something bothering them. Starting school or dealing with bullying, for example, is nerve-wracking but a child struggles to explain their emotions. Zeamu has created an album of songs to help children identify how they’re feeling as co-founder and child psychologist, Barbara Bishop, explains: “We wanted to create the musical equivalent of a Pantone reference book to enable children to express themselves. Most of today’s pop music has lyrics about love or love lost which aren’t relevant to the primary school age group.
Using some of the best producers and musicians in the industry, we’ve created songs that empower children and encourages them to open a dialogue with their parents about how they feel. This extends to feelings of happiness and excitement too – not just their problems”. Going back to school after the long summer holiday or even starting school for the first time, creates all sorts of angst for children – will their friends still like them, will they fit in, will they be able to cope with the work?
To help both children and parents deal with back-to-school angst, Zeamu has created 4 special songs: Friend Of Mine – a song voiced by a child who is left out of things because they feel different. What Do You Want – how a pushy parent can make a child feel inadequate. School – what child wants to go to school and learn when they could be playing instead? Beat The Bullies – a child tries to rationalize what makes a bully the way they are? These four songs, together with Zeamu Music’s entire first album, can be downloaded from www.zeamumusic.com.
KidAround have teamed up with Zeamu and are giving away three copies of the CD!
To be in a chance of winning one of these great prizes, all you have to do is enter your name, address and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date 11th October.
Posted by Amy Moylan