SPRINGHILL – Scott Sampson has a captive audience for his music. The kindergarten teacher is the frontman for Scotty and the Stars, a children’s music group that’s been nominated for an ECMA for all three of their albums.
“It sure does,” said the musician, when asked if the guitar got used in class.
Scotty will be performing a free show at the community centre in Springhill on May 4, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30. It’s part of a series of gigs they’re doing across the Maritimes this summer.
It’s a high-energy show, said Sampson. Many of the songs are action-oriented, with marching, stomping and other movement. The musicians – “There’s four of us in our band.” – also switch instruments, which presents teaching opportunities.
“(We’re) just bringing light on important issues,” he said of the topics addressed in the band’s music.
They’ve just released an animated video for one of the tracks, Don’t Bully. Sampson said he wanted to create a tool for teaching younger children – K to Grade 2 – about bullying. The video features a series of animals, each representing a species. It’s a message about tolerance of diversity and difference.
“All animals are unique,” he said.
Sampson expressed his belief there isn’t a lot of what he called modern children’s music. He’s interested in marrying pop and rock to silly and interactive.
“Children are very honest,” he said.
Kids let you know if they don’t like something.
Sampson hasn’t given up his day job, but Scotty and the Stars is meeting with success. The songwriter is based out of Beaver Dam, New Brunswick. The band received the award for that province’s 2012 Children’s Recording of the Year, and their song Time to Get Up is entered in a nation-wide CBC contest.
Sampson said he hopes to get music to as many parents and children as possible. They’re working on a DVD and a fourth album this summer, and his ambitions include developing a television show.