In her folk-rock music CDs, Little Miss Ann promotes big messages for little ones about loving others and being true to yourself. Her most recent recording, "Clap for Love," was voted one of the top 10 CDs of 2008 by About.com Children's Music Guide. Offstage, the performer is Ann Torralba, a 39-year-old mom and instructor in Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music's Wiggleworms program where she sings and plays acoustic guitar to teach babies and toddlers. Her Wiggleworms co-workers suggested she record her first CD in 2006 and she's been rocking out her tunes to Chicago-area kids ever since.
Why she decided to perform and record children's music: "Most of the music I heard was more silly," Torralba says about other children's CDs. "I wanted to have fun music, but I didn't want it all to be silly." Torralba opted for positive, meaningful songs when she set out to make her mark in this male-dominated music category.
Her inspiration: "Making the CD is all because of having a child," says Torralba whose daughter, Olivia, is now 7. "It brought back up my own creativity just seeing from the perspective of a child." Torralba credits her knowledge of kids' concerns to Olivia and other children she's played music with over the years.
Favorite songs to perform from her CDs: "Over in the Meadow," a cover song on "Clap for Love," and "Pirate Ship" from "Music for Tots" (2006).
Advice on getting kids into rock music: "Let your kids have fun with an instrument," says Torralba. "Don't harp on making them practice." Torralba also advises parents to sing with their kids and dance. "There needs to be a place for kids to let it all hang out," Torralba says. She's happy to see kids "let loose" at her concerts.
For information on upcoming Chicago shows featuring Little Miss Ann, visit littlemissann.com/shows.