Making Lemonade: Music As A Tonic For Locked In Families
All of your shows are cancelled, community groups are off until further notice and Schools and Preschools have shut their gates...what do you do? With three young girls to support, Christchurch artist Music with Michal figured out pretty early how to make lemonade — and fast.
With some experience with online streaming, she realised that this was now her one and only channel to reach her tiny fans. So, back in March as Level 3 began and Level 4 loomed, Michal Bush launched the Music with Michal Club. Six months later she’s still going strong with her online club, launches her new album ‘Can you make music?’ today and is in the midst of booking a national tour.
“I was lucky, I already had some experience through a few years of doing online shows which gave me a head start. Thankfully, my loyal fans came on board straight away and took up the chance to support a local act.”
“Thanks to Creative New Zealand, I had the chance to take this momentum and turn it into a new album which I’ve called ‘Can you make music’?”
The album features a number of Covid themed songs written to help children during what was a scary time for many. Tunes such as SuperHero, Hand Washing Song, Ways to Say Hello and Easter Bunny (are you at home too?) made her all the more relevant to her audience. Her daughters (eight, five and three) played a key role both in the writing of these songs and their online performance to make sure they hit the spot for her young fans.
“With all of us in lockdown together in a small space, my daughters became my backup dancers by default. It was a shared project really and having my children join me in lifting the spirits of families all over Aotearoa, New Zealand was so special. Although there were some hairy moments (random demands, sibling rivalry, emergency potty stops), it was wild and wonderful, I have no regrets.”
Michal’s business model is savvy. For a cheap online fee, parents and preschoolers can tune in 4 days per week for a music lesson. Guilt-free screen time, it's uniquely interactive through real-time parent input. Kids feel seen (and famous) as they get personally greeted and granted song requests.
“I hope it brings another option and a sense of community for parents of preschoolers who can’t get out on a given day for whatever reason or just need a break,” says Michal.
Growing all the time, the club is now getting noticed throughout NZ and in Australia and she is able to earn a good part-time income through her work.
Can you make music? Is available on online streaming platforms today.