Get excited: Lah-Lah's Christmas show is coming to town

Lah-Lah and the band including husband Mark (to her right). Supplied (Tina Harris)
Lah-Lah and the band including husband Mark (to her right). Supplied (Tina Harris) 

If you have a toddler or preschooler in your household, chances are you're pretty used to 'shaking it like this' with a troop of musical characters known as Tom Tom, Squeezy Sneezy, Mr Saxophone, Buzz the Band leader and of course, Lah-Lah.

For the uninitiated, Lah-Lah's Big Live Band is one of Australia's most popular children's music groups, with a slew of albums, TV shows and live events under their belt.  

Based in Sydney, the group has gained national recognition and success under the skilful guidance of wife-and-husband duo, Tina and Mark Harris. 

And to celebrate their upcoming live Christmas tour Essential Baby sat down with Tina Harris - AKA 'the real Lah-Lah' - to find out more about her life and the band! 

1. She used to be an opera singer 

"My previously life was singing with Opera Australia. I spent way too many years at University but I did meet my hubby Mark (Buzz the Band Leader) at the Conservatorium of Music.

I always loved singing and music growing up and was desperate to have a career making music. I studied acting, singing, dancing and languages. Interestingly, the singing and acting have become the backbone of what I do now."

2. Her granddad was an Olympic cyclist 

"I grew up on a farm in Jamberoo. I had LOTS of animals. Horses, ducks, goat, chickens etc. I loved being outside and use to sing riding around the farm.

My grandfather was a cyclist (Dunc Gray) he has been to three Olympic games and won the first gold medal for Australia in Cycling. He loved music and would tape (yes on VHS) Bill Collins Musicals during the day and we'd watch them after school together.

He was my number one supporter. He always encouraged me to sing and told me anything was possible."

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Photo: Lah-Lah's Big Live Band. Supplied

Photo: Lah-Lah's Big Live Band. Supplied

3. She started the band wth her husband 

"I rolled over in bed one morning and said, honey let's start a kids band! Mark now says that was the most terrifying thing I've ever uttered but 3 months later we had recorded a CD and booked the Seymour Centre in Sydney for our first season.

We lost a bomb that first season but we invited Nickelodeon, the Sydney Opera House and The Enmore Theatre and all three signed us up so we knew we had something pretty special."

4. She has two daughters who come on tour with the group

"Most of the time we tour in school holiday or weekends so the girls come along. They have grown up with the band and in the back of a bus. They are part of the crew.

They work, get paid and are part of the team. It's been an amazing childhood for them and I'm so proud of the beautiful young women they have grown up into."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bit excited about touring with these two muffins!!! My biggest helpers ever!!

A post shared by Lah-Lah (@lahlahsbigliveband) on

5. She believes music is so important for kids and has so many benefits 

"Learning a musical instrument is brain food. My girls; play cello, double bass, piano and sing. I don't push them, music is just in our family. They go to lessons and the aim is not to make them musicians but just to have music as another subject like maths or English. I love watching them play in the orchestra or band.

We just performed some very special sensory shows with EACH, who are based in Melbourne. They came to us with the concept of doing special some special needs concerts, small intimate and really interactive. The idea was to make it fun and easy for families. The shows were so amazing, the children just loved the live music."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lah-Lah (@lahlahsbigliveband) on

6. She LOVES her job

"I love the post show meet and greet. We still come out after every show to meet the children and their families. It's so important for kids to have a tactile experience with musical instruments, to touch and play them. We do around 30 to 50 venues each year across Australia.

It's also important they get a change to meet us to make the connection between TV and real people. Plus I hug a lot of mums and Dads too, that's always nice!

We also still try to do secret daycare visits. I think crawling around the floor with kids is really important. It's also important to talk to teachers and carers and ask what is working, what they need etc"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lah-Lah (@lahlahsbigliveband) on

7. She is VERY excited about this year's Christmas show! 

"We are featuring Australia's best trombone player, Santa Clause. It will be lots of fun and features some traditional Christmas songs and song Lah-Lah ones with a special twist!

James Greening, who plays Santa is a master of many instruments and he is going to wow and surprise the band and audience with his crazy music. It really is the most spectacular Christmas show we've ever attempted to perform."

Want to go along? You can buy tickets to the show on Lah-Lah's Website here

You can also watch Lah-Lah's new show, the Stripy Sock Club on ABC Kids or ABC iView.