In a nutshell, Susan Reed is one of the happiest people we know. Happiness pours out of her, following her wherever she goes. It must come in part from her lifetime career as a musician, singer, storyteller and author who uses original songs and stories to work magic with families, on local and national stages. And it’s contagious.
Common to all of Susan’s performances is a trademark sense of humour and optimism, and her conviction that music has the power to broaden people’s understanding of the world around them. She has recorded award-winning CDs and books, including Up, Up, Up, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and coming very soon…the brand new Over in the Meadow singalong song with audio and visual CD (a first for us!). When you’ve had a look and a read, let us know what music makes you happy by sharing a comment below. And you can see a video interview with Susan here, and her rendition of our multicultural classic If You’re Happy and You Know It here!
Q: Who is or was the most influential person in your life, fictional or otherwise?
A: If I had to pick just one I’d have to say my husband, Ken. I know, it sounds hokey, but it’s true. We crash through each day together, raising our kids and trying to get to work on time. We argue about how high the thermostat is set, and who is last to the dinner table when the meal is hot. Yet through the chaos of it all, we are deeply connected and we are each other’s biggest fans.
Q: If you had an animal guardian, what would it be?
A: The coyote. It was the coyote who sang humans into being, and that’s what I do every day. The coyote appreciates life’s sunshine and shadows. The coyote is dedicated to strong family bonds and healthy kids (pups). Yes, I think the coyote has my back…
Q: What is your favourite piece of music?
A: Being a classical musician as well as a folk musician, choosing one piece of music is nearly impossible. I love everything JS Bach ever composed, but I’m also mighty partial to Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante. Exquisite.
Q: What is the best advice that you have been given, and did you act on it?
A: My grandfather was very special to me growing up. He told me many times, “Get really good at one thing, then learn as much about everything else as you can.”
Q: What cause do you feel most strongly about?
A: Homelessness. It bothers me a lot. Some of us have so much and others, nothing. It distresses me that our world culture accepts this basic inequality. If anyone would like a benefit concert to support the homeless, I’m there.
Q: If heaven exists, how would you like to spend your time there?
A: Collaborating… with whoever and whatever exists there… on anything. I like to connect.
Q: What do you regard as your greatest success to date?
A: My kids. They amaze me every day. My greatest success is creating a world for them where they can thrive and express themselves. I LOVE to perform and record with my kids. It’s a gas.
Q: What would you like to achieve in the coming year/decade?
A: My favorite artistic venture these days is performing my songs and stories with orchestra. I feel useful there and that feels great. Of course I’m always writing, and that can’t be stopped.
On a personal level, I’ve always wanted to be one of those cooks who can whip up a great meal out of anything and doesn’t even need a recipe.
Q: Where are you happiest?
A: Outside ― be it biking, hiking, or swimming. I think better when I’m outdoors and in motion.
Q: If you could pass on one book from your childhood to the next generation, what would it be?
A: As a child I loved the Madeline L’Engle series, A Wrinkle In Time so I’d like to pass that on.
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