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September 16, 2014

Road Diaries: Kids Don't Leave You Guessing

This month, we asked touring artists about how they keep inspired while on the road, as well as how young audiences are unique...

African Stages was formed to share African cultural heritage. Their perfomances integrate many different art forms including drumming, theatre, storytelling and dance.

What do you do to keep your creative juices flowing?

By travelling, reading, watching and listening to different media and people.

How is it different performing for young people compared to adult audiences?

The usage of words for children should be simpler, with more dramatic actions and involvement in the story. For adults, is slightly different even they also enjoy playing, dancing and drama but you could use more metaphoric and sophisticated language, too.

Will Stroet is an award-winning musician who performs in both English and French. You can see Will on Kids' CBC in his series, Will's Jams.

What do you do to keep your creative juices flowing?

The best way I find to keep my creative juices flowing is to listen to music, pick up my guitar as often as possible, spend time with my daughter and her friends to inspire ideas that are relevant to young children and finally... drink coffee!

How is it different performing for young people compared to adult audiences?

I personally love young audiences. They have unbridled enthusiasm and energy as well as unbiased notions of music as in which styles they like and don't like. If you are connecting with an audience of children it is obvious, they don't leave you guessing at the end of the show as to whether or not they had a good time. That being said, they can also be quite unforgiving. If they don't like what you're doing they may simply tell you, perhaps even right in the middle of a song, and then walk away.

In my experience with young audiences, the best way to have a good experience is to make sure they are active audiences not passive ones. Make sure your performance has many opportunities for them to participate with actions, singing, clapping and as volunteers. This engages them in your show and keeps them wanting to know what is next.

Road Diaries: Answers and Advice from ArtStarts Touring Artists is a series that features voices of the talented artists who are part of ArtStarts' Artists on Tour Directory. These professional artists travel schools across the province, bringing meaningful creative experiences to young people in urban, rural and remote communities. Read more Road Diaries.

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