In addition to being a musician, singer-songwriter, teacher, mom of two and renowned children’s fitness advocate, Sarah O’Brien has made it her life’s mission to create opportunities through music, arts and wellness to educate on social, health and community issues. Her Community Rocks! non-profit provides children and teens access, opportunity and funding for arts, music and wellness programs. One of the ways her organization achieves this is teaching kids, teens and even toddlers to write and perform music that gives them self-esteem, encourages literacy, motivates movement/dance and celebrates uniqueness and self-expression.
She and those kids have a blast collaborating on the playful, quirky, lesson-filled (but never preachy) Let Yourself Shine. With an emphasis on positive, life-affirming messaging, Sara and the kids engage the listener with infectious, easy to sing along with and often humorous lyrics about everything from having a “Loose Tooth” and not wanting to be “Vegetarian” to the deeper themes of social justice, loving your neighbor as the basis for all that’s good, and the importance of sharing.
There are some cheesy, country-folk flavored singalongs (that kids will love more than adults, let’s say), but the high energy rockers and solid production throughout quickly redeem those and bring fire to the fun. Overall, Let Yourself Shine is a joyful, lighthearted listen for the whole family, imparting themes crucial to many aspects of a child’s successful development.