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Ten Years of Kinderkonzerte!

When someone asks me whether I’m the guy who writes kids’ songs and stories, I get grumpy. I tell stories and sing songs for children from 0 to 100. That’s a pretty demanding job. When we give concerts, there are three or four generations in the audience. And everyone wants something. Everyone wants to be addressed, to find their inner child, to cry, to be afraid and to feel joy. They’re afraid that the tiger will eat Annika but happy that, in the end, Annika tames the tiger and rides him through the town. That’s something I’ve learnt from 10 years of the Kinderkonzerte.

It all began around the village well in Grüningen. Michael Furler wanted to organise a special birthday treat for his twins and asked me to give a concert. He laid a couple of boards on the well and that was the stage. Then 400 people turned up and the Kinderkonzerte were born. The twins’ father became the tour manager and friends and neighbours became roadies, secretaries and ticket sellers, and the twins earned their summer pocket money selling sandwiches. In the first year there were just a couple of dates, in the next year a few more until eventually it turned into something like a touring circus. I can remember well, how after the first concert a little girl of about 7 years of age came to me and said: ‘’ Your songs are really good, you can really sing well -  I couldn’t do better myself’’.

Songs and stories are an ideal way of growing kids’ confidence, encouraging them and showing them that life and growing up is not so bad. Where are they going to learn that it’s worth growing up, if not from us grown-ups?

When I first stand on the wonderful Kinderkonzerte stage and see all the children and adults, then I know everything will turn out fine. Everyone wants their kids to have fun, to have opportunities and a good future.  Everyone wants to dance and shout, to reflect and to enthuse. The Dads are relaxed because it’s the weekend and no annoying boss is spoiling their mood. The Mums are happy because it a special event and the Grandpas and Grandmas are nodding their heads in the time to the music. In this atmosphere, you see kids snuggling up to their parents, singing under a blue sky or touchingly looking into your eyes and saying: ‘’ Mummy wants an autograph.’’

I have simply the best job I could imagine, and the Kinderkonzerte is a highpoint in my musical life.

 

Linard Bardill, April 2008