Children’s musician Andy Mason, of Portales, performs at the Roswell Public Library, Wednesday morning. Mark Wilson Photo
Children’s musician Andy Mason helped the Roswell Public Library kick off its Summer Reading Program with lively songs about burritos, sharks and pirates, Wednesday, playing two shows in the Bondurant Room. Mason has released three critically-acclaimed children’s albums since 2007, and is on a five-state tour that will see him play 45 concerts in June and July.
Mason performed such family favorites as “Everybody Likes Pizza” and “ZYX,” the backward alphabet song, selections that he said demonstrate the extent to which imagination is emphasized in children’s music.
“That’s the beauty of kids’ music, you can sort of make up your own subject areas. Pretty much anything goes,” he said. “I’ve written songs about sharks, about pizzas, about ‘owees,’ about hand-washing — anything that can engage a child. You can be silly and goofy and make up words, Dr. Seuss-like, and they love it. There’s no end to subjects you can write about for kids.”
Children’s librarian Deanne Dekle said Mason has helped the library with the program for the past few years, building quite a reputation in the area.
“We have people all year asking when Andy’s coming. He’s a huge draw,” Dekle said. “Pretty much everyone who goes to a school in Roswell knows Andy because he plays at all the schools, and he’s just a fun guy. He puts on a great show.”
The Summer Reading Program is held each Wednesday in an attempt to encourage people of all ages to read more, and will feature the Mobile Dairy Classroom next week.
“We want everyone to spend the summer reading,” Dekle said. “A lot of kids they think they can take the summer off from reading and learning, and that’s not a good thing. And if we can encourage families to read together, even better.”
Mason, a former schoolteacher, said he has always enjoyed sharing music with kids, and aims to combine education and song.
“They’re such fun audiences to play music for. You can do just about anything,” he said. “You can be goofy, and you can be subtly educational — you can slip stuff in there and get them learning when they don’t realize they’re learning.”
Mason will return to Roswell for a live concert June 15 at Cahoon Park, a performance he plans to have filmed for a concert DVD.
For more information about Mason’s tour, visit andymasonmusic.org.