Donna Dyson's New Album is More Than Just Music - 96five Family Radio

Donna Dyson’s New Album is More Than Just Music

The award winning Brisbane songwriter also uses music to teach early childhood literacy and a love of the written word.

By 96five NetworkTuesday 16 Aug 202296five AfternoonsMusicReading Time: 2 minutes

By Emelyne Isezerano

Brisbane’s own Donna Dyson is positively buzzing about the opportunity to chat about her new album. 

The award winning songwriter who’s worked with a diverse range of artists (Damien Leith, Lior and Tyrone Noonan) has a new children’s album out on her Spotty Kites label.

Dance! Dance! Dance! went straight to the top of the iTunes Children’s Music chart in the week of it’s release, but Donna Dyson’s music isn’t all about getting toes tapping and kids up and dancing.

Because of her many years spent as an academic and university lecturer specialising in early childhood literacy, Donna is passionate about her music being able to teach literacy and language, and inspire kids beyond the classroom.

“When children are little and you sing to them, nursery rhymes are the first literacy experience they grasp that’s not conversational”, Donna told 96five’s Steff Willis.  “It’s a beautiful experience.”

Donna describes music as the icing on the cake when it comes to children’s development with language and literacy skills.

“When children are reading or listening to a story, there are oral, cognitive and visual components all going on in the mind with that experience.  If you add in a trusted grown up who the child loves reading the story to them that adds in an emotional experience.”

“If you then add that icing on the cake that is music, and a story is then enveloped in this beautiful sound wave, then that lights up all of the neural pathways in a child’s mind which is very exciting!”

Donna also said that imagining how the children listening to her music will be enjoying it helps her through the writing and production process.

“When I see these children in my mind they could be dancing at a fete, they could be onstage at a school or ballet concert (in the Dance! Dance! Dance! album’s case).  Sometimes they are holding hands with their parents, their siblings or someone they love and trust, and they’re just having fun in the moment together.

“So it’s all about the joy of music and the experience of education.”

Donna aims to develop literacy skills in children through her music.

Donna has just returned from Adelaide, where her album Easter Songs for Kids had been nominated for an AIR Independent Music Award in the category of Best Independent Children’s Album.

And although The Wiggles ended up taking the top honour, Donna said she was happy to be nominated alongside the giants of kids entertainment.

“I was really honoured to be a finalist for Children’s Album of the Year, and to get a chance to wave the flag for Spotty Kites!”

Donna Dyson’s new album Dance! Dance! Dance! is out now on the Spotty Kites label and is available to purchase and stream through all digital channels.

Listen to the full interview with Donna in the audio player above.