It is said that music makes the world go 'round. And maybe more than that.
If one plays it just right, creates a certain mood, then music is also good for curing sniffles, triggering giggles, stopping arguments, chasing monsters, making friends, finding magic, sharing cookies, random hugging, learning lessons, forgiving your parents and ... well, all kinds of good stuff. This kind of music even has a name: "Kidstuff."
Melany is both the music-maker and proprietor here. In her bag of stage surprises, she combines imaginative lyrics, a voice that makes you smile, and enticing guitar melodies to create an eclectic entertainment circle. Kids growing out of Pampers can sing-along with kids growing into Dockers.
Her business, Happy Moon Enterprises, is happily both her vocation and avocation. It had its genesis, so to speak, in many places. For openers, her senior year at the Jamesburg, N.J. High School, where she won a $50 Principal's Award for a Good Attitude. With that $50 (and a few dollars more) came a Guild D25 six-string guitar.
The real beginning, this love affair with the guitar and all the doors it would open, began when Melany was 12, doing penance in Buffalo, N.Y. She recalls: "I picked up a guitar we had around the house and started strumming, and knew right away I would never put it down. I was never professionally taught, but I didn't think of that as a handicap. It just meant there were no limitations."
Melany's entrepreneurial spirit -- and the direction that would take -- did not just fall from the sky one day. There were some dues. She started writing lyrics when working as a dental assistant. She also unloaded her shyness in that job.
The focus has always been unerringly upbeat, oriented to the family, zeroing in on the kids. "Music crosses all barriers," says Melany. "It goes straight to the heart. It can heal. It can give promise. It can teach lessons. Most importantly I think, it can be a very positive voice, building relationships."
So what's a young, engaging, thoughtful, talented singer, songwriter, guitarist, mother of three to do with all this upbeatness? Get a vision, that's what.
"I was just driving down the street when the mission, the calling became clear," Melany says. "I suddenly knew what I was put here to do. And that was to bring a message of hope and encouragement to families through music. And this has become a passion."
It has, as mentioned, also become Happy Moon Enterprises. The is one album ("The Best We Can") already out. Another ("Kidstuff by Melany") is due later this month.
It has further led Melany, her duffel bag of neat "stuff" and her trusty 12-string, to several gigs as an artist-in-residence at Brevard schools. She has performed, earlier in Palm Beach County and currently in Brevard, at libraries, workshops and at numerous community events.
Children's charities, especially Give Kids The World Foundation, draws Melany like a magnet. "It is here that music can truly be therapy. I feel it is at these events I can make a difference. This work has become an important part of my life.'
The venue this day, Melany and guitar at center stage, is a little preschool, KidsLand by name, tucked neatly in a grove of trees off Malabar road.
Borrowing from the Beatles, we have a musical mystery tour here, meaning Melany will be the guide, matching the music with the moment. Sitting on a little stool, slightly larger than life to a restless contingent of two and three-year-olds, the band plays on.
We make little noises. Then we make big noises. We rarely whisper. With Melany leading the way, the room suddenly becomes a party. We visit Old MacDonald, rehearse our ABCs, and show off driving skills, stopping on red, going on green. Then, a grand finale. Everybody makes music.
Drums, whistles, tambourines, cymbals, clackers, bells, sticks, horns and assorted hoots. The noise is wonderful. Educators call this "creative interaction." The kids call it fun.
And Melany? She calls it a mission, her eyes twinkling, smiling a loving smile amidst an exuberant shower of fierce hugs and very wet kisses.
A nice mission. A neat lady.