Award-winning, curriculum-based original music for children
“It all started with my daughters, Emily and Julia. I began writing children’s songs for them. I admit it. I’m a walking children’s music cliché.” But six CDs later (and concerts and keynotes from coast to coast), Vincent has won numerous accolades for his music for children, including awards from the Parents’ Choice Foundation, Children’s Music Web, Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media, NAPPA and many others.
Vincent (Paul Vincent Nunes) is a natural. Coming from a large Portuguese family, his mother, Lucilia, taught elementary school in Western Massachusetts until age 70. “Mom loved teaching.” His father, Manuel, was a touring professional musician “who could play anything,” “My interest in music for children,” he claims, “was genetic.”
Vincent’s music is impossible to categorize… He incorporates so many different styles- reggae, folk, blues, gospel, polka, African, jazz, pop, hip-hop, classical… “Children need to be exposed to different styles of music,” he argues.
Parents’ Choice calls him “fresh, lively and engaging.” The American Library Association says he’s “rollicking…creative…rousing.” Minnesota Parent says he’s “musically literate… reminiscent of Stephen Sondheim.” A “truly worthy children’s singer-songwriter,” says Publisher’s Weekly, “consistently catchy musical styles… upbeat, enthusiastic, versitile.”
Vincent received his BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross (on scholarship) and also attended the University of Durham, England “where I read lots of Shakespeare.” He received his post graduate degree (JD) from Syracuse University and is a devotee of Bev Bos, Lisa Murphy, Tom Hunter, Hap Palmer and Ella Jenkins.
“It is important to sing to children every day,” says Vincent. “I like songs that are interactive and engage a child’s sense of creativity. I think children like to move when they sing too. It also helps if the songs relate to a shared sense of values, like co-operation and tolerance.”His performance schedule has carried him from Massachusetts to California, from Texas to Michigan and to many schools, libraries and teacher conferences in between. Vincent’s primary focus these days is professional development programs. “I love meeting folks dedicated to nurturing and educating young children. We understand each other. The future is our children. I can’t think of a more important job.”Vincent just completed work on his most recent CD, “Holidays & Celebrations,” a collection of 9 new compositions and 9 previously released songs. “They all fit together into this theme,” Vincent observes. “Teachers and friends have been pushing me to do this for years. It was big fun.”
Vincent also finished work on the long-anticipated “Vincent Music & Activity Book” in which he has collected many of his most popular songs. The book includes photo illustrations of the interpretive sign language (based on American Sign Language) Vincent uses at his concerts and workshops and also highlights suggested classroom activities. “The book pulls it all together, I think,” he boasts.
What’s on the horizon? Vincent is currently working on his first book for children, “My Grandma Turned 91″ to be illustrated by long-time friend and collaborator, PeterMiserendino.com. Vincent is also near completion of an original musical for high schoolers and middle schoolers entitles “My First Year” — the story of a first year kindergarten teacher. “What can I say,” Vincent concedes, “I love my work!”