Artist Bio - Loopy Tunes Preschool Music
Third Place - Global Song of the Year, for "'Umukisia", 2020 Funky Kids Radio Global Music Awards
Third Place - People's Choice - Song of the Year, for "'Umukisia", 2020 Funky Kids Radio Global Music Awards
Kia ora! Mālō e lelei!
Loopy Tunes Preschool music are Christchurch-based sister music duo, Siu Williams-Lemi and Leah Williams-Partington, members of Kiwi Kids Music – a collective of Aotearoa’s awesome children’s music artists.
They started recording and releasing children’s music in June 2019, with their debut album, 'Kākāriki: Simply Us', which is the first of what they intend to be a ‘Rainbow Collection’ of children’s waiata/songs – kākāriki, meaning green, in the Māori language. Aptly named ‘Simply Us’ to create the same acoustic sound of a guitar and two harmonious vocals that they are known for. They had their start in children’s music through running community-level, weekly, outreach music sessions for preschoolers (and their caregivers) – going strong now, for eleven years.
They have also released twelve children’s music singles, all in digital form only, for now. Between October 2019 and November 2020, they released their ‘Rainbow Book Collection’ of bilingual Māori children’s picture books, based on five of their original waiata.
To kick off this year, 2021, they collaborated with the Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s ‘Pasifika Beatz’ team, to release an ambitious 10 albums, in 10 different Pacific Island languages, with 10 children’s songs, per album – a total of 100 songs, funded with huge thanks, by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. The intention behind the albums was to provide an opportunity for tamariki and families of these ten cultures to hear and experience waiata in their own reo, and to share these languages with the world! This amazing resource is also a part of the 'Pasifika Beatz' toolkit that supports the 'Pasifika Beatz' music sessions for preschoolers, run by Whānau Āwhina Plunket. Each song has an accompanying action video, available on the Whānau Āwhina Plunket YouTube channel. So many awesome songs that are now out, and available for you all to listen to and use in your own contexts - school, preschool and in the home.
Siu and Leah are currently working on another project, thanks to funding through the Creatives in Schools programme, taking Māori and Pasifika Music Time to four different schools, in Ōtautahi/Christchurch.
In June, they released their thirteenth single, “The Māui Dolphin”. A song that highlights the plight of our beautiful, endemic dolphin, that is down to only (approx.) 63 adults!! This super catchy waiata features Siu’s son, debuting as their rapping Māui dolphin!
There are new songs in the pipelines, including collaborations with their fellow Kiwi Kids Music musos and international children's music artists. So, it’s a very busy time for the duo with more exciting times ahead, but, thankfully, they LOVE what they do, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else!!
[updated 5 August, 2021]
The LOOPY TUNES Story
Loopy Tunes started in 2010, as an Outreach Preschool Music Programme at Beckenham Methodist Church,
run by a small group of volunteers from the Church. It has now grown to eight weekly outreach sessions
around Christchurch (click here for more info on these), mostly run by us, Siu and Leah.
The vision for Loopy Tunes was to offer music to local whānau that was live, interactive, affordable and fun.
We wanted to offer a space that created a sense of community for parents/caregivers and children.
Where did the name "Loopy Tunes" come from?
The meaning behind our name is all to do with where Loopy Tunes began - Beckenham Methodist Church...
which is situated within the Beckenham 'Loop'.
So, there you go... wish we could have given you a more exciting tale of pirates and fairies - would've been way more exciting! haha!
Siu was a part of the group of three that developed Loopy Tunes.
Instrumentally, she has a background as a clarinetist/saxophonist, after starting on the recorder and piano as a child, and is a self-taught guitarist.
Vocally, she has performed as a lead singer/saxophonist with the Mainland Big Band, sung solo gigs and duets, and regularly led Youth Service worship bands through her previous work with the Methodist Church, as the Children and Youth Ministries Co-ordinator for the Central South Island.
Our main action lady has been with Loopy Tunes from the start, and just loves all the moves Siu makes her do!!! lol!
Instrumentally, she grew up learning the piano and recorder, then progressed to the flute. She has been teaching the flute for almost 20 years, previously at Christchurch School of Music, with some itinerant relief work and private tuition. She has a Bachelor of Music, in Music Education, from the University of Canterbury.
Vocally, she sings at home and in the car with her music-loving children and hubby (and at Loopy Tunes, of course!).