TURNER, Maine (WABI) – Musicians are among those hit hardest by the pandemic.
The Fun Run Band performs for pint-sized audiences around Western Maine.
Now the husband and wife duo are coming to you live, from their living room in Turner.
Joy Hollowell tells us more.
“Our daughter, she’s nine now but when she was little, we would just make up songs,” explains Zack Reinstein, half of the duo, Fun Run Band. He turns to his other half, his wife, Mia Reinstein. “And then one day- you were like- well, let’s go into her daycare and play for all the kids.”
They did that for a few years.
“And they loved us,” says Mia. “And we said- hey, let’s do some more of this.”
Soon, Zack and Mia were giving concerts for children at libraries, schools and music festivals.
Then, the pandemic hit.
“Boom, shut down,” says Zack.
“We said- what can we do at home that kids can dance with us and have fun with us right from their living room,” adds Mia.
They came up with the idea of live streaming their concerts, from the safety of their living.
“It was different at first, playing to a Zoom screen,” says Zack. “It was a little awkward, but then we did a second one about two weeks later and it was less awkward.”
The couple, who are both educators at Buckfield Junior Senior High School, admit live streaming music was a learning curve.
“Some of our first shows, we were sideways for awhile,” laughs Zack. “We had our daughter who was online, holding up her fingers like- you have two listeners, you have 10 listeners, I need more fingers.”
The Reinsteins quickly recognized how technology could help them engage their young fans.
“We have songs with animals for example, and we say- let us know your favorite animals,” says Mia. “And they’ll tell us about their favorite dog or cats or other pets.”
“Fans send us pictures after the show of their kids watching the screen or dancing around,” adds Zack.
“Even dogs,” chimes in Mia, laughing.
Zack and Mia also take every opportunity to address emotions experienced during these uncertain times.
“We have a song called Wishing Star- we used that as an opportunity to talk to the kids about, we’re sure there are people that you miss right now and you’re not getting to see.” They then encourage the kiddos to use technology or even old fashioned letter writing to pick their favorite star, share it with the person they are missing, and the then both agree on a time at night to both wish on the same star, at the same time.
It wasn’t long before their living room performances starting catching the eye of children’s venues. The couple is now being booked for virtual concerts as well as live performances come summer.
“I like to look right at the camera, and we both tell the kids that we miss you, we can’t wait to see your face again, but in the meantime, thank you for having us in your home,” says Mia.
For information on their upcoming live stream concerts as well as a new studio CD of original songs coming out this spring, log onto Fun Run Band on Facebook.
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