Monty Harper's award-winning children's songs promote literacy, creativity, and scientific thinking. His songs tackle non-fiction (dinosaur behavior, planetary motion, Oklahoma history) and fantasy (pet dragons run amuck, book-gobbling monsters, singing bugs), with a healthy sense of fun and adventure. His audiences can be observed to laugh, clap, sing, wiggle, shout, roar, giggle, jump, hoot, pop, snap, and even cry.
Harper is one of a growing number of musicians who take their goofy kid’s music very seriously. Children are our future, after all, and Harper aims not only to entertain them, but to challenge them as well. In his programs children are focusing, thinking and participating. They are inspired to read, to write, to imagine, and to create.
Harper’s interest in performing for kids began with the creation of a silly song or two in 1989, the same year he entered the Master’s program in mathematics at Oklahoma State University. By the time he completed his degree in 1992 he was fielding a slew of requests for appearances at schools, libraries, and birthday parties.
At the time there were no children’s record labels looking for new artists. However, a pile of Barry Louis Polisar records discovered at the library helped convince Harper not only that there was a market for smart, funny, gross, entertaining kid’s songs, but also that one could succeed in that market as an independent. So in 1993 he discarded the idea of becoming a college algebra instructor and launched his own children’s music business instead.
Harper’s recordings and songs have won many honors and awards from groups including Parents’ Choice, iParenting Media Awards, NAPPA, Children’s Music Web, Kids Radio Mania, and Unisong International. His CDs are available through CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes Music Store.
Harper performs for elementary schools, libraries, and festivals throughout the Midwest and often leads children in the creation of their own musical masterpieces. He has been a popular act on the Oklahoma Arts Council touring artist since 1995. He is a songwriter-for-hire, and he dispenses songwriting advice for young people via his blog and podcast.
Harper resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Evalyn. More information is at www.montyharper.com.