Suzanne “Suzie Sunshine” Brown from Oakville, Ontario has been a children’s performer for over 30 years. Brown has extensive training in different musical styles such as broadway, pop, deep blue and many more. She has worked in various daycares and schools across North America teaching everything about music. Brown has also worked on the Special Olympics and wrote “The Courage to Sing” in 1996. Brown’s award-winning Baroque with Joy is the first in a children’s book series which aims to teach children about classical music.

HA : What is the meaning behind the name “Suzie Sunshine” ?

SB : Neighbourhood children have always called me Suzie. Sunshine was my nickname in work places. When working on a name, it just made sense.

HA : What is Baroque music and how did that lead to creating a book series?

Suzanne Brown

SB : Baroque music is classical music from the time period of 1600–1750. When I started incorporating classical music into my daycare program, it became clear that many children had little to no exposure to classical music and surprisingly neither did their parents ( just grandma & grandpa). However, many people understand that it (classical music) has very positive effects. Children loved the music and the poems that I had written to engage them. My reach was limited because I could only reach people that I had direct contact with. I used to have pictures of the great composers on popsicle sticks which I would give to the children and I wrote poems about composers which I would also share in the class. The pictures of the composers were not child friendly, so I searched for an illustrator (Romi Caron) in the hopes that I could create a book that would have further reach than just the locations I have been in. It’s now used in university lectures on how to teach children (with joy ) , centres and libraries across North America. Naturally, I would like it (Baroque with Joy) in every daycare centre, library, home, etc.

Baroque with Joy, illustrations by Romi Caron

HA : What is the most difficult thing about your venture thus far?

SB : Time and knowledge to accomplish all that I want to as my vision is deep and wide. Getting the word out etc…but God continues to lead me and open doors day by day ( i.e meeting you Habiba).

HA : What inspires you?

SB : EVERYTHING! I am inspired by the messages I receive from children and parents about the difference that the books and my music is making. Love also inspires me to want to create positive change, not only with music but as well to provide principles of “Joy” and “Gratitude” which is a big part of my program and books.

Listen to Suzanne’s latest book : Classical with Joy !

HA : What advice would you give to aspiring writers/book authors?

SB : Follow your passion. There are people in the industry that will help. I have met many amazing people and there are many more that have done much more than me, but follow your passion and make it happen.

Suzie Sunshine at the 2013 Kid’s World Kid’s Fest at the South Florida Playgrounds.

Originally published at All photos are courtesy of Suzanne Brown.

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