November 20, 2018 7:00 am
Updated: November 29, 2018 2:39 pm

40 years of kids shows: Sharon and Bram’s biggest message to parents

WATCH: They've been singing to children for four decades. Lois passed away three years ago, but Sharon and Bram are travelling the country on their farewell music tour. Kim Smith has their message.

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Following thousands of live shows over the span of 40 years, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison, with the late Lois Lilienstein, have had a front row seat to changing family dynamics.

Lois passed away in 2015, but the two remaining members are travelling the country on their farewell tour.

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Global’s Family Matters producer Christine Meadows sat down with Sharon and Bram at Festival Place in Sherwood Park, Alta. on Friday, to ask their advice and biggest message for families. Below is part of their conversation.

Christine Meadows, Global News: Who’s in the audience at your shows?

Sharon: All those people who grew up on us. They come back because they want to remember those memories and they want to introduce their children.

Bram: We’re connected to three generations. The people who come are built of the children, their parents, who were our kids back a generation ago, and their parents, who are now the grandparents, so that’s three. And just recently, I had someone say, ‘I’m going to bring my great-granddaughter to your show.’ That’s four.

Christine Meadows: What is your view on the changes we’ve seen over the last 40 years?

Bram: Once we get them (kids) into the concert hall, or living room, wherever that is… Once they get connected to us, which is very quickly, and with the music, which is also very quickly, they’re the same kids as they were a generation or two or three ago.

READ MORE: Iconic Canadian children’s musical group Sharon and Bram bid a ‘Skinnamarink’ farewell on final tour

WATCH:  Sharon and Bram on their 40th-anniversary farewell tour

Christine Meadows: What do you prefer to see? The mom with the phone taking pictures of their kids or the mom standing with their kid?

Sharon: Oh, no contest. The best thing for your child is to do it with you. When the child sees their parents participating, it motivates the kids and they share that.

Christine Meadows: I admit, I’m the mom who’s sometimes standing with my phone trying to get the best shot of my kids. What’s the best way for kids to enjoy music and shows?

Sharon: Sometimes when parents bring their very little children, they’re so busy fiddling with the kids, getting the kids to do this and that rather than understanding that every child receives (the music) in his or her own way. And if you leave them to it, that’s the best deal, rather than helping them (participate). They’ll be absorbing. You don’t know what they’re absorbing.

Christine Meadows: How would you describe the bonding you see happening in the audience?

Sharon: When parents leave with their children, singing and holding hands, that’s a connection that’s forever. When we meet young adults, like you, and sometimes they’re a little weepy when they meet us and they’re embarrassed, I say, ‘Don’t be embarrassed because you’re remembering those happy childhood memories, family memories.’ Hopefully, that’s what we’re helping building still today.

Christine Meadows: What’s your biggest message to parents?

Bram: Be together. Do things together. And do music together. The opportunities for making music together have reduced over the last couple of generations. Sunday afternoons around the piano don’t happen anymore. Church attendance is way down, even just singing hymns together. There are fewer music teachers in schools to lead the children in singing. The component of music in their lives has dropped and we’re trying to fill that back up again because it’s important.

Sharon: Anything that the family shares is good for them. The thing about music is, it’s forever. If you take it into your life, it doesn’t go away. You have it forever.


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