- 30 May 2018
Tim Seston makes music for kids of all ages
|Tim Seston in performance. (Photo by Meredith Bielecki)|
Local musical storyteller Tim Seston has been delighting children—and their parents—with his lively and interactive musical performances since 2006. His resumé includes local venues such as Carlisle Kids House, Concord Integrated Preschool, Milldam Nursery School, Concord Children’s Center, and performances at numerous local birthday parties. What sets him apart from other children’s musicians are the unique stories and rhymes he constructs which turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Much of Seston’s original material is derived from his family life. Seston and his wife, Sally Zimmerli, are the proud parents of three boys; 13-year-old Charlie, and 9-year-old identical twins, Luke and Owen.
The twins were born prematurely at 30 weeks. Seston and his wife spent the first few weeks with them in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Seston recalls one particular afternoon when he was holding both newborn sons on his chest in the NICU and singing to them. It was at that moment the tune for the song, Start Your Day, was born. The chorus reads:
So get up on your feet and get going
It’s time to start your day
There’s a lot to do both me and you
Let’s all get up and play.
When asked about what led him to this musical career path, Seston replied, “For me it has all been about doing something that can include and live around my family life. Sally has been working full-time since we had children. Both of us were teachers, but I decided it would be great to be the stay-at-home dad and have built my business around that.” Though Seston taught older students, he has years of experience working with young children. Having two siblings 12 years his junior, he spent much of his childhood babysitting and entertaining. Once his first son was born, he began thinking about working with younger children again in his new role as a stay-at-home parent while his wife continued to teach. She is the current Dean of Students at Concord Academy.
Much of Seston’s work can be found on his website, frompagetoplay.com. He has released several albums over the past years, the material growing and maturing along with Seston and his family. His newest album, set to be released on June 8th and titled “On a Roll” is primarily inspired by his son, Luke. The name of the album, which is also the title of the first track, came to life while Seston and his son were attending the Children’s Music Network conference in Illinois three years ago. Luke was telling jokes to another teacher who worked with children who have cerebral palsy. She told Luke something he said was really funny to which he responded, “I’m on a roll!” The name has another, special meaning, since Luke has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Seston says that much of the material on his new album is edgier. “I want to let kids have fun with the idea that it’s ok to have a bad day, spill paint on your shoe, or your brother wakes you up too soon.” One track, titled Canker Sore, was written after a morning Seston was trying to cheer up his son from having his own bad day. He was strumming the ukulele, Luke was plonking away at the piano, and the melody was created. A few of the lyrics are:
A canker sore is a metaphor
for something going wrong in your life
When you’re feeling run down
or maybe some stress
It’s like someone cut a hole in your gum with a knife
But the day is at an end
and you’re ready to start again
So you lie on your pillow and you count your sheep
until you reach 2,030,410.
While many of the songs on Seston’s albums are directed solely for his youngest admirers, he also writes tracks with messages that resonate with parents. Little Charlie’s Monsters is one such song, which features a popular topic amongst new moms and dads: sleep! Seston writes on his website about where the idea came from: “In this song I envisioned the mom and dad pretending with their young son and chasing him around the house [before bedtime]. It is a playful scene that I have enjoyed as a parent and remember fondly from my own growing up years.”
Creating wholesome, original, and meaningful music, Seston’s talent could easily take him away to perform. However, when asked if he envisions taking his career on the road, he admits while it would be fun that it is not “in the cards.” He says, “I’m on the board of the Children’s Music Network. Every year it takes me to a different part of the country. I’ll travel in that way, but I don’t see myself putting together a big band and touring nationally. It’s more important to stay local in the preschools and the elementary schools.”
You can find Seston’s albums locally at Ferns Country Store. Links to listen to and purchase his music are on his website, frompagetoplay.com, or check out a class at one of his drop-in music sessions at On Your Toes in Acton. ∆