Laurie Berkner has been a professional musician since 1992, but her success as a
children’s recording artist was a surprise to her. “It was so unexpected,” says Laurie.
“I’d been performing in rock bands and struggling to write original music. Writing music
for kids has not been a struggle at all. The more I started working on material for
children, the more I realized that it opened up creativity in me that I never knew I had.”
These days critics widely acknowledge Laurie’s major contribution toward launching
what is now dubbed the progressive “kindie rock” movement – i.e. less saccharine, more
rocking music that is not dumbed down for children. But it wasn’t simply an enormous
amount of talent that helped create an entire genre and skyrocketed Laurie to her current
position as “the queen of kids’ music” (People magazine). It was an ability to gain
parents’ enthusiasm for the songs as well. According to Laurie, “When I’m writing a
song, I’m thinking about whether the kids will like it and whether I’m going to connect to
them through it. I’m also thinking about whether I want to sing it over and over again, so
I guess that’s the part that connects with adults. ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ is a great
song for kids, but I couldn’t sing it 100 times!”
While Laurie never planned to be a children’s performer, looking back on her career it
almost seems inevitable. While growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, Laurie was always
involved in music, whether singing in choirs, playing in bands, or performing in musical
theater. In high school and throughout college (at Rutgers University), she toured Europe
with several choirs and orchestras as a soloist and guitarist. After graduation, Laurie
spent several years as a children’s music specialist at New York area preschool and day
care centers. Working with children became the perfect creative outlet for Laurie to
express her talents and create something that, she says, “has turned out to be incredibly
Laurie was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr. and was a
beloved presence on the network’s Jack’s Big Music Show series. Her music videos now
appear regularly on NBCUniversal’s Sprout House and on The Laurie Berkner Band’s
YouTube channel. She is a frequent presence on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live. Laurie also created a ten-chapter Audible Original Series titled Laurie Berkner’s Song and Story Kitchen, which debuted in November 2018. She maintains a busy touring schedule and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House, among many prestigious venues.
Laurie has released twelve bestselling, award-winning albums: Whaddaya Think Of That
(1997); Buzz Buzz (1998); Victor Vito (1999); Under A Shady Tree (2002); Rocketship
Run (2008); The Best Of The Laurie Berkner Band (2010); A Laurie Berkner Christmas
(2012); Laurie Berkner Lullabies (2014); The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection
(2014); Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs (2015); Superhero (2016); and
Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes (2017). Laurie has also released seven digital
collections of her songs: Laurie Berkner’s Food Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Animal Songs,
Laurie Berkner’s Transportation Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Classroom Favorites, Laurie
Berkner’s Movement Songs, Laurie Berkner’s Nature Songs, and Love (a digital
collection of favorite Laurie Berkner songs about all kinds of love).
Laurie’s Two Tomatoes Records has co-released (with Razor & Tie Entertainment) two DVDs: We Are . . . The Laurie Berkner Band (2006) and Party Day! (2011).
Laurie recently authored three picture books for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, each based on one of her beloved songs: We Are the Dinosaurs, Pillowland, and Monster Boogie, Laurie previously authored four books based on her songs, including two Barnes & Noble NOOK Kids™ e-books.
Venturing into the world of the theater Laurie has written music and lyrics for three Off-
Broadway children’s musicals produced by New York City Children’s Theater: Wanda’s
Monster (2013), The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess (2014), and
Interstellar Cinderella (2017).
Laurie continues to be inspired by her audience. “I want to create songs that matter for
children,” she says. “I was singing once and saw a four-year-old girl shut her eyes and
start swaying to the music. I thought, ‘That’s the reason I got into music.’ It keeps me
wanting to do more.”
When she’s not making music, Laurie enjoys visiting the farmers’ market for organic
produce, knitting, biking and spending time with her husband, Brian, and their daughter,
Lucy. They live in New York City.