Hirsch, who hails from Seattle, Washington, started off as a teacher, but found he enjoyed sharing his love of storytelling and music with children much better, and Alleyoop was born. He has since performed all across North America, including at the Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre in Dawson Creek on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s always fun to play for new audiences,” said Hirsch an interview before his show.
He had his audience of little ones shaking, rolling, touching the floor and jumping for the ceiling that afternoon as he got them to participate in a number of interactive stories and songs such as “Dance and Freeze.” He said there is no doubt exposing children to music at an early age is important for their development.
“Music is one of the seven intelligences of the human mind,” said Hirsch. “It’s one-seventh of your brain if you let it, though some people don’t develop it.”
He added exposing children to performing music is also a great way to build their self-esteem.
“People who sing and play music seem to be pretty happy.”
Of course, the physical activity involved in the performance doesn’t hurt either, he said.
“Nature tells children to move, adults tell them to sit still and be quiet. We’re always fighting nature,” he said.
Hirsch said storytelling and music seemed to be a much larger part of our society before the advent of radio and television, and he hopes he is helping to keep that tradition alive. He also still enjoys being an educator, as he continues to offer his insights and songs for teachers in British Columbia and elsewhere to use in their classrooms.
More information on Hirsch can be found at www.alleyoop.us.
His concert in Dawson Creek was presented by Child Care Resource and Referral thanks to funding from Success By 6.