Celeb Q&A: Laurie Berkner

We sing along to her songs and watch her on Jack's Big Show, on Noggin. Laurie Berkner's one of our faves -- and, oh yeah, our kids love her too.

Q. How do you come up with your fun kids' songs?

A. I try to sing about things I remember liking when I was a kid. I loved marching to music when I was young (especially "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music) so I made that part of "We Are the Dinosaurs." And I liked the way the words in "Victor Vito" felt in my mouth when I sang them, so I made that more of a silly wordplay song.

Q. Do you get inspiration for songs from your daughter?

A. Yes, that's just starting to happen. For example, there's a song called "Balance Beam" on the new album that I wrote because my daughter, Lucy, who's 4, walks on curbs and the edges of flower beds over and over again. She often says, "Mommy, sing your beam song. It's easier for me when you sing it."

Q. We imagine your household as one big Laurie Berkner video -- all fun, all the time. What's it really like?

A. Well, I'm not running around the house wearing my guitar all the time! I don't think we play music together any more than we do anything else together, like cook or play games or just hang out.

Q. What's the one piece of parenting advice that you wish someone had told you?

A. Don't worry about anything too much because it will all change faster than you can imagine.

Q. What's the best part of your job?

A. Making music for a living and getting hugs from so many kids.

Q. What's playing on your iPod right now?

A. I almost never have time to listen to my iPod. But I did recently download "Hey Ya!" by OutKast, "Wind It Up" by Gwen Stefani, and all of ABBA's greatest hits.

Q. You're such a rock-star mom. Do you have any parenting issues right now?

A. Lucy has been getting up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. for some months now, and it's definitely taking a toll. Before 6 a.m. just still seems like night to me! I wish I could convince her of that somehow.

Q. You probably get recognized all the time. What's your favorite fan story?

A. I was walking past a parking garage, and I saw Matt Servitto from The Sopranos waiting for his car. I felt so excited to recognize him because the last episode had recently aired, I missed watching the show, and it felt like I had stepped back into that world for a moment. I was about to say something to him, but he turned away from me, not wanting to be bothered, I thought. So I just passed by him and felt a bit bummed not to have made the connection. Then as I turned the corner and walked up the next block, a car pulled up at the light right next to me and the driver leaned over and rolled down the window. It was Matt, and he yelled, "My kids love your music!" then he smiled, waved, and drove on. It was so fun to find out that there was a part of me in his life the same way that there was a part of him in mine.

Q. If you weren't a children's musician, what would you be?

A. An organic farmer!

Originally published in the August 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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