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Justine Clarke brings her Silly Songs to Canberra

Ashleigh Went

It’s no secret that Justine Clarke loves a silly song.

In fact, she’s made a career and several successful albums from it. And now, Justine is bringing her Silly Song Tour to Canberra audiences on Saturday 6 October.

“The motivation for this show is to celebrate all the songs that kids know from all the other albums – songs that are now sung on Playschool and in kindies and at home – that have been around for 10 years. But it’s also to celebrate the theme of the new album and of The Justine Clarke Show, which is the excitement of putting on a show” explains Justine.

Between Playschool, The Justine Clark Show and her live tours, Justine has certainly learned a thing or two about entertaining kids.

“I’ve learned some tricks over the years: don’t stop, don’t wait for applause, don’t take a breath and wait for an answer. Just keep moving, talking, and getting them active. They think it’s their show anyway, so the more you make it for them, the better.”

The Silly Song Tour is going the extra mile to create the feeling that the audience is part of the performance. For the first time ever, parents are invited to send in videos of their children – some of which may be selected to become part of the screen content during the live show.

“I think it’s one thing to see yourself on a screen at home,” says Justine, “but a big screen is another thing. I’m really excited about it – people send in videos of their kids dancing to me and I love it so much, it’s so joyful and I really want to share that with everybody.”

Despite starting her career at the age of just seven, Justine says she has always spent a lot of time with children.

“My mum owned a creche in Melbourne when I was little and continued to work in and out of early childcare, so I spent a lot of time around little kids” she explains. “I feel like it’s a natural place for me in a lot of ways.”

“Because I started singing when I was so young, I really believe in the power of music and believe singing is the best way into a lifelong appreciation of music. I try and share an unbridled love of singing, which at some point in our lives can get shut down a little bit.”

While many will know Justine from her Home and Away days, it was her role as a presenter on Playschool that cemented her status as the queen of children’s entertainment.

“It’s really fun, and the reason why is because the people who make it are absolutely dedicated to making a showthat respects the intelligence of children, and understands and accepts them for who they are.

“A lot of consideration goes into things that you wouldn’t really think about, like understanding where a child is at in different stages of development, what they need and understand. There are several early childhood advisors who have multiple degrees and argue for hours over things. A lot of love and diligent work goes into it.”

Her 19 years on the show have no doubt contributed to what is now her artform: making silly songs.

“The first thing that you have to do is know that you’re about to have fun – there’s no aim in mind other than that. And then you just have to find some words, make it a song, and there you have it! It’s pretty simple – as the song says, “you find some words and a little tune, squash them together into one.

“It’s really just about finding the songwriter in you. Kids and parents do it all the time – they often change the lyrics to words that are funny. Kids love silly words.”

While there are dozens of Justine’s lovable songs to choose from, she says she loves hearing audiences sing Watermelon, Dinosaur Roar, and Gumtree Family.

“Hearing people sing is absolutely, undoubtedly, the best part about it. I know that people enjoy the music, and not in the same way as you would as an adult – it’s more of a tool for kids and families. They learn language and they move to communicate and listen, and they sing with their parents. It’s a group activity.”

the essentials

What: Justine Clarke’s Silly Songs Tour 2018
When: 10am Saturday 6 October
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
Tickets: Available online now.

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Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author