Editor’s note: Gimme 5 is a five-question interview on a topic of local interest.
Who: Tim Sullivan, lead musician.
Talks about: Saturday Morning Hullabaloo: Kids Concert Series.
When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Where: Phoenix Park labyrinth, 330 Riverfront Terrace.
How do you best describe Saturday Morning Hullabaloo?
It is an event for families, not just children. We play and learn about music, and parents and their children are a part of that process. We are teaching kids and their parents to think about music in a different way. We are teaching how to improvise. This isn’t just someone singing at kids; it’s making them part of the musical process.
What is your background that prompted you to lead Hullabaloo sessions?
I work for Jazz at Lincoln Center as a teacher and curriculum writer for the WeBop program, an early childhood music program for children ages 8 months to 5 years. I have been doing that work for the past decade, teaching the curriculum across the U.S. and around the world.
So when I was asked to be involved with Hullabaloo, I agreed because it seemed like a good match for my background.
Is it difficult to convince parents to be involved with their kids in Hullabaloo?
Not for the most part. Part of it is getting the parents to be more childlike, and to completely go against kids’ music being just a drop-off of kids. This is a family experience, and grown-ups are co-players in the experience.
What is your favorite part of Hullabaloo?
The most enjoyable aspect of this is seeing the kids enjoying it and seeing the parents get it.
I like to mess with the audience, and to see the parents start to get it is really awesome. I love flipping the script on what parents think kids’ music is.
The kids already have it. The parents have to learn it.
What do you hope is the future of Hullabaloo?
What I would love to see is having Hullabaloo have the opportunity to be intertwined with other music festivals in this region. Kids’ music in Eau Claire can be cool, and I would love to see that continue.
— Julian Emerson,reporter