Will Stroet is an award-winning children’s entertainer from Vancouver who performs high-energy and interactive music in English and French.
Will and his Backyard Band are performing several shows in English and French during Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg from February 16-18. Click here for more information.
Interview with Will Stroet
- How did you get started writing and performing music for kids?
I started writing songs for kids when I was studying to become an elementary school teacher at UBC. My colleagues and instructors, not to mention my practicum students, all enjoyed my songs and so I kept doing it. I taught for 5 years in a Vancouver French immersion school before I took the leap and started performing music for kids full time.
- What is your inspiration when writing songs?
When I got started, it was definitely my students. I realized I could take topics that they might be learning about, or other topics that might just interest them, and put them to music. These songs were not only fun, but also presented great learning opportunities for my students. I still visit about 100 schools per year and find that these songs continue to resonate with school-aged kids.
Now, I’d have to say my major inspiration when writing songs is my two-year-old daughter. As she grows and becomes interested in more and more things the potential song ideas are endless.
- What do you like best about performing for kids?
I find that kids are an amazing audience, though not an audience to take lightly. Kids are very honest: if they don’t like your songs, or they’re not engaged by your show, they will simply walk away, tune out or start harassing the other kids around them. That being said, if you do engage and get them involved, if you get them excited about the music and the show, then their honesty and lack of inhibition makes them the best audience ever. They participate, dance and sing like no other age group. They also don’t have preconceived ideas about musical styles— they just know whether they like it or not. This is what I love about performing for kids.
- How did you get started in music?
For most of my childhood we were singing. My mother and grandmother in particular would make everything into a singable moment. We sang to do chores, on road trips and even for the merchants in our neighborhood. I also started playing violin when I was 4 and continued for about 9 years before switching to the guitar which is of course my instrument of choice now as it lends itself very well to writing and performing for kids.
- Do you have any interesting projects coming up?
Yes, there are always things in the works. Our major project right now involves Kids’ CBC. They have just licensed a series of my videos that will begin airing regularly during their morning programming. We will also working together very soon to produce a second series that will begin to air at a, yet to be determined, time.
Will’s videos, “Will’s Jams,” will be airing soon on Kids’ CBC television. “Full of Beans” is one of the fun videos that will inspire kids to eat their veggies.
Nominated for “Children’s Artist of the Year”
Will has just been nominated for “Children’s Artist of the Year” by the SiriusXM Indies (Canadian Independent Music Awards). If you’re interested in voting for him, click on his name under the “Children’s” category.
One lucky Canadian Mommy Moment reader will win a prize pack with French and English CD’s and DVD valued at $75. Tell me why you want to win this package.