Laurie Berkner

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Laurie Berkner
Laurie Berkner in 2011
Laurie Berkner in 2011
Background information
Birth nameLaurissa Ann Berkner
Born (1969-03-15) March 15, 1969 (age 52)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1997-present

Laurissa Ann "Laurie" Berkner (born March 15, 1969 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France to American parents) is a French-born American musician best known for her work as a children's musical artist. Berkner plays guitar and sings lead vocals in the Laurie Berkner Band, along with pianist Susie Lampert, bassist Brady Rymer,[1] and drummer Bob Golden. She is a popular artist in the Kindie rock genre.[2]


Laurie Berkner in 2015

Growing up in Princeton, New Jersey, Berkner attended Princeton High School and was involved in choirs, bands and musical theater.[3] As a student at Rutgers University, she toured Europe as a choir soloist and an orchestral guitar player. After working as a summer-camp music counselor, she spent several years as a children's music specialist for day care centers and preschools in the New York area.

In 1992, she began to perform as a professional rock musician, playing in an all-female cover band called Lois Lane. When she started a band that played original music, Red Onion (Berkner, Brian Mueller, Adam Bernstein and Alan Lerner), she found song-writing to be a struggle—a problem that disappeared when she started writing children's music. "Writing music for kids has not been a struggle at all," Berkner has said. "The more I started working on material for children, the more I realized that it opened up creativity in me that I never knew I had."[4]

Some of her first performances as a children's musician were birthday party gigs at $125 a show. "Those days were intense," she told The New York Times. "I used to arrive early and memorize every child's name, so I could feel like I knew them."[5]

In 1997, working with Susie Lampert, Mueller and guest bassist Adam Bernstein, she put out her first album, Whaddaya Think of That? as a cassette-only release. She had been encouraged to record by the parents of the children she worked with. "The children were really responding to the music we created together," she said.[6] The album contained original songs like "We Are the Dinosaurs" and "I Know a Chicken", along with covers of classics like "The Cat Came Back" and "Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)".

In 1998, Berkner formed her own independent record company, Two Tomatoes Records, to release her second album, Buzz Buzz, which includes such Berkner standards as "Pig on Her Head" and "Monster Boogie". With 1999's Victor Vito, Berkner achieved national fame, appearing on the FX network's American Baby Show and winning a Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award. Her album Rocketship Run came out in August 2008. A greatest hits compilation, The Best of The Laurie Berkner Band followed two years later, and A Laurie Berkner Christmas was released in 2012.

Berkner's audience increased dramatically when she appeared on The Today Show in 2001. Since then, she has played in high-profile venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center; she has also played at the White House Easter Egg Roll.[7] Berkner also played a free concert in Central Park to celebrate Earth Day, which was attended by fifteen thousand people.[8]

Mueller, who is married to Berkner, left the band in 2006 "to keep the couple's personal and professional lives separate", and was replaced by Adam Bernstein.[5] In 2009, Bob Golden became the band's drummer after producing "Rocketship Run," as well as "We Are The Laurie Berkner Band" and all of her songs for Jack's Big Music Show. Adam Bernstein left the band in 2013 and was replaced by Grammy Award nominee Brady Rymer.

Her music is generally in a major key and in what Berkner calls the "human tempo" of 100–120 beats per minute, approximately the speed of walking or marching. Her lyrics have been called "self-effacing and occasionally confessional."

Berkner was also a judge for the 10th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[9]

Other media[edit]

Berkner regularly appeared on Nick Jr. (with Lampert and Mueller), a television network aimed at children, in music videos played between programs and on the program Jack's Big Music Show. Berkner has also appeared in Jamarama Live!, a touring music festival for children sponsored by Noggin, and in the 2006 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 2009, she was featured on Ziggy Marley's children's album Family Time in a song called "Future Man, Future Lady".

Berkner has written two children's books: Victor Vito and Freddie Vasco, based on her song Victor Vito, and Story of My Feelings. She has also release two DVDs called We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band and Party Day!. We Are...The Laurie Berkner Band has sold more than 400,000 copies since its 2006 release.[5] Laurie has also authored two e-books, Party Day and Candy Cane Jane.

In March 2013, a new short-form animated musical preschool series, Sing It, Laurie!, debuted on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout. The series features Laurie’s voice, along with original music written for the series. Later that spring, "Wanda’s Monster The Musical" debuted Off-Broadway. Laurie wrote both music and lyrics for the musical, produced by Making Books Sing and based on the children’s book by Eileen Spinelli. The music was released on the original cast recording in the summer of 2013.

In 2018, Berkner created a series called Laurie Berkner Song and Story Kitchen with Audible Studios and released it as an audio book through the Audible Originals brand. Other formats are available as well for non-Audible members. [10]

Starting March 19, 2020, Berkner began a daily "Berkner Break" via Facebook Live.[11] The daily 30-minute event consists of Berkner performing a variety of her songs, reading books and encouraging children and families to wash their hands and social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event moved to three times a week in May 2020 and the final "Berkner Break" was on June 5, 2020.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Berkner is married to Brian Mueller, who was formerly a bassist in the Laurie Berkner Band. They have one daughter named Lucy Mueller (b. September 2004).



  • Whaddaya Think of That? (1997)
  1. We Are the Dinosaurs
  2. Doodlebugs
  3. Down Down Baby
  4. She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain
  5. Bring Your Clothes
  6. I'm a Little Snowflake
  7. The Animal Fair
  8. What Falls in the Fall
  9. These Are My Glasses
  10. ABCD Medley
  11. I Know a Chicken
  12. Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
  13. I Love My Rooster
  14. The Cat Came Back
  15. Can You Imagine
  16. (I'm Gonna Eat) On Thanksgiving Day
  17. All the Pretty Little Horses
  18. The Airplane Song
  19. 123
  20. Last Night I Had a Dream
  21. The Great Big Dog
  • Buzz, Buzz (1998)
  1. I Really Love to Dance
  2. The Pretzel Store
  3. Pig on Her Head
  4. I've Been Working on the Railroad
  5. Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)
  6. Telephone
  7. There's a Little Wheel A-Turnin' In My Heart
  8. Monster Boogie
  9. In the Clouds
  10. The Cookie Bakers of the Night
  11. The More We Get Together
  12. I'm a Mess
  13. Ice Cream Cone
  14. Clean It Up
  15. Little Red Caboose
  16. Rum Sum Sum
  17. Magic Box
  18. The Valley of Vegetables
  19. Popcorn Calling Me
  20. Lots of Little Pigs
  21. The Erie Canal
  22. I Had a Friend
  1. Victor Vito
  2. Bottle Caps
  3. Moon Moon Moon
  4. Froggie Went A-Courtin'
  5. I'm Not Perfect
  6. The Toy Museum
  7. O Susannah
  8. BOOTS
  9. Oleanna
  10. The Crabs
  11. Sneaks
  12. The Goldfish
  13. Zodiac
  14. Trucks
  15. Fruit Salad Salsa
  16. The Story of My Feelings
  17. I Feel Crazy So I Jump in the Soup
  18. Shakin' Down the Sugar
  19. Googleheads
  20. Tingolayo
  21. White Coral Bells
  22. Goodnight
  1. Under a Shady Tree
  2. Rhubarb Pie (Hot Commodity)
  3. Mister
  4. Drive My Car
  5. I'm Gonna Catch You
  6. Just Like the Sun
  7. Mahalo
  8. I'm Me and You're You
  9. Choc-o-lot in My Pock-o-lot
  10. Shortnin' Bread
  11. Running Down the Hill
  12. My Energy
  13. After it Rains
  14. Do the Dragon
  15. Song in My Tummy
  16. This Hat
  17. Who's That?
  18. Smile
  19. Boody Boody Ya Ya Ya
  20. Blow a Kiss
  21. Blow a Kiss Outtake
  • Rocketship Run (2008)
  1. Rocketship Run
  2. Going on a Hunt (ska)
  3. Mouse in My Toolbox
  4. Candy Cane Jane
  5. All Around My Room
  6. One More Stop on the Train
  7. Going on a Hunt (blues)
  8. Jump and Fly
  9. Pigbasket
  10. Five Days Old
  11. Mr. Bassman (and Piano Girl)
  12. Winter Lullaby
  13. Let's Samba
  14. Going on a Hunt (conga)
  15. My Blue Sailboat
  16. Balance Beam
  17. Thunderstorm
  18. Fast and Slow (The Rabbit and the Turtle)
  19. Going on a Hunt (jig)
  20. Farm Song (That's What I Did on the Farm)
  21. Nona
  22. Walk Along the River
  23. Going on a Hunt (hand jive)
  24. Fly Me to the Moon
  • The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band (2010)
  1. Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz) (from Buzz Buzz 1998)
  2. Rocketship Run (from Rocketship Run 2008)
  3. Victor Vito (from Victor Vito 1999)
  4. We Are the Dinosaurs (from Whaddya Think of That? 1997)
  5. I'm Gonna Catch You (from Under A Shady Tree 2002)
  6. Moon Moon Moon (from Victor Vito 1999)
  7. Pig on her Head (from Buzz Buzz 1998)
  8. Fast and Slow (The Rabbit and the Turtle) (from Rocketship Run 2008)
  9. I'm Not Perfect (from Victor Vito 1999)
  10. I Really Love to Dance (from Buzz Buzz 1998)
  11. BOOTS (from Victor Vito 1998)
  12. Five Days Old (from Rocketship Run 2008)
  13. The Goldfish (from Victor Vito 1999)
  14. Monster Boogie (from Buzz Buzz 1998)
  15. Song in My Tummy (from Under A Shady Tree 2002)
  16. I Know a Chicken (from Whaddya Think of That? 1997)
  17. Under a Shady Tree (from Under A Shady Tree 2002)
  18. Pig on Her Head (alternate version) (as seen on NOGGIN 2003)
  19. Moon Moon Moon (alternate version) (2006 DVD)
  20. Open Your Heart (new song dedicated to St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital)
  • Party Day! Soundtrack (2011) (digital only)
  1. Come On In
  2. This Hat (from Under A Shady Tree 2002)
  3. Last Night I Had A Dream (from Whaddya Think of That? 1997)
  4. Party Day
  5. Balloons
  6. Shake Your Bodies Down
  7. Where is the Cake?
  8. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday
  9. The Cookie Bakers of the Night (from Buzz Buzz 1998)
  10. Chocolot in My Pockolot (from Under A Shady Tree 2002)
  11. Pillowland
  12. Goodnight (from Victor Vito 1999)
  • A Laurie Berkner Christmas (2012)

This was recorded at Little Airplane Productions in New York City.

  1. Jingle Bells
  2. Santa's Coming to My House Tonight
  3. The Little Drummer Boy
  4. I Saw Three Ships
  5. Candy Cane Jane (from Rocketship Run 2008)
  6. Do You Hear What I Hear?
  7. Children Go Where I Send Thee
  8. Silent Night
  9. Christmas Lights
  10. Christmas Is Coming
  11. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  12. Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  13. Frosty The Snowman
  14. White Christmas
  15. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  16. Christmas Baby (Small Potatoes Duet) (Amazon only)
  • Laurie Berkner Lullabies (2014)
  • Laurie Berkner's Favorite Classic Kids' Songs (2015)
  • Superhero (2016)
  • Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes (2017)
  • Waiting for the Elevator (2019)



  • Victor Vito and Freddie Vasco (2004)
  • Story of My Feelings (2007)
  • The Laurie Berkner Songbook (2007)
  • We Are the Dinosaurs (2017)
  • Pillowland (2017)
  • Monster Boogie (2018)
  • Laurie Berkner's Song & Story Kitchen (2018)


  • "Party Day" (2011)
  • "Candy Cane Jane" (2012)



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Staff. "N.J. natives John Lithgow, Laurie Berkner to play McCarter Theatre",, March 26, 2010, backed up by the Internet Archive as of August 10, 2014. Accessed December 10, 2018. "Making her first McCarter appearance on Saturday, April 17 for two performances at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be Princeton native (and Princeton High School alum) Laurie Berkner, the 'Pied Piper of Pre-Schoolers.'"
  4. ^, Bios: Laurie Berkner Archived November 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c Davis, Michael "Laurie's Big Music Gig for the Littlest Rock 'n' Rollers", The New York Times January 8, 2007.
  6. ^ Archived March 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Independent Music Awards – Past Judges Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "New Audible Original Series | The Laurie Berkner Band". Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Berkner Break Concerts". Guitar Girl Magazine.
  12. ^ "Legendary Kids' Musician Laurie Berkner Celebrates Summer with the June Release of Three New Singles! Plus a Special Father's Day Show on June 21". New York Loves Kids.

External links[edit]