It is actually called quite differently. Thousands of children know her as Mai Cocopelli. Austria’s most popular children’s composer is out and about under this artist name. For 20 years, children and adults have loved Attersee’s Upper Austria.
ESI: My children are very jealous because none other than Mai Cocopelli is sitting in the study! You make life easier for parents and you are the only one who can produce nursery rhymes that parents love too.
May: I’m getting really horny! My music is from the heart to the heart, everything is played with real instruments, that’s important to me. I’m a mom myself and you have to pay attention to quality.
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ESI: Do you (usually *) fill concert halls in Austria, Germany and the United States?
May: America was only on the web. I won a contest because I submitted a song. I’ve never been there, but I would love to! But my songs are also available in English, because if the music is suitable for children, then the language is not a barrier, because the music is the language. I think the songs sound wonderful in English, older.
ESI: Your fans start at three years old, right?
MAI: I have the impression that many are born with the Cocopelli gene. In the past I still had to win the audience, now there are older brothers and it works.
ESI: Today you are incognito, without dreadlocks, with a short haircut, brand new and without rings. Do the children recognize you then?
May: With my short hair, I am a “Nameless”. and they don’t always recognize me, although of course it’s nice to be recognized and robbed. I enjoy it because I can differentiate between the person on stage and the real person. It wasn’t always like this, for years I was exclusively Mai Cocopelli, but privacy is also required.
ESI: What makes a good nursery rhyme?
MAI: That is the main question. If we all knew that, we could produce much more great music for children. I think there is not much difference in an adult song, it has to be of the same quality in terms of quality. I don’t like synthesizers and I always play with a band or in a duet with Oli, who covers a band, sings, plays the cajon and the piano. The theme is crucial for the children to feel cared for, the rhymes have to fit and make sense, it can also be about themes like sadness, but that rarely happens with me, I want to give the children a good feeling of life and give them tools. . I will take her to Cocopelli Island, where everything is great, where you can be, with whom you contribute, live your life, show yourself …
ESI: What are children like as an audience?
MAI: Great! I love the! And they feel it, they make my heart beat faster, they are spontaneous, if they don’t like something, they say so. I also wanted to make music for adults, but then they sit there and you don’t know if they are really excited, with children you know that in a second they give you impulses, and you keep in touch and movement when they express their joy. Music as a bridge to children is great, everyone likes it.
ESI: Are you living your dream?
MAI: Oh yeah!
In this way to CocopelliTV
ESI: Was your success planned?
MAI: I had a vision. When I started in 1999, it quickly became clear that I needed an image of where I would like to navigate, the desire to be heard, to accompany the children as they grow. After 20 years, the second generation continues, but I do not follow the success. Winning competitions like the German songwriting show shows that something has a quality that makes me happy because I was the only European in the final.
IT I. You are a skilled kindergarten teacher!
MAI: Yes, but I have never been in practice. During my apprenticeship I also had my key experience, where I realized that the music is mine and I continued on the path. Back then, children had to learn music in their training. One of the tasks was to think of many reasons to repeat the preparation so that we could do the song after the lesson. And I had to teach them a terrible Saint Nicholas song and I didn’t dare tell my teacher that I thought it was terrible. The children stepped up and attacked each other with couches! I’ve never seen anything like it! They were very aggressive and I had to interrupt the lesson. Then I reflected and realized: Sure! He was not excited, how then the children? And then I decided that I would never do a song with them that was not good. At that point I had to repeat the unit and asked myself to choose the song myself, but I couldn’t find one that I would have liked, so I decided to write one myself! That was flip flap magic that many love! It is still one of my favorites. It came to me at night where nothing bothers me, it’s already there and I pick up the instrument and it fits. And if it’s good, it’s still there the next day. So it was, I wrote it, I showed it to the kids and they loved it. It was not necessary to repeat the greens because the children said: Again!
ESI: By the way, on the topic of enthusiasm there is also a great podcast “Someone Always Shouts” with Thomas Brezina, which I can recommend to you. Mai Cocopelli has new plans again. Now there is a ukulele school!
MAI: Exactly. And I have the ukulele with me too! Afterwards, I’ll play my new song on the podcast for you! I was assigned to clean at my daughter’s school, and then I thought I’d rather do more than spend the cleaning scraps. Then I taught the children to play in three years. And then we went to the United Ukulele Youth Orchestra and we were allowed to open the concert on the day of the concert.
ESI: How do you get to ukulele school?
MAI: I recorded videos with the school children and put them on the kinderlieder.tv website. So it is an online school. Music school for at home and at any time. Parents should be involved too. You can play the songs with two teachers, my daughter and her friend Hanna, from the beginning and go through all the seasons, from brother Jakob with a finger on the side, to more difficult things.
Always unblock YouTube
ESI: It is often said that children today are less attentive, spoiled by their smartphones. In your opinion, has the audience changed?
MAI: When kids are excited about something, they keep it, despite their cell phone. If you keep them on the line for an hour, they will be as excited as 20 years ago. But what I have already experienced is that children often have no limits anymore, they are allowed to do too much because no one can stop them, then someone walks on stage or something. But they are excited and it would be a shame if they lost that feeling. We, as adults, look for that childish joy that comes out of nowhere, simply because you are there. They show me on their best side, shy people become brave, loud sounds, I have a bit of the Cocopelli bonus.
ESI: Have you maintained your childish enthusiasm?
MAI: When the day is nice, when it runs and things like that, I can wait for life. These can be completely normal times when you know it’s good to be there right now. I love the feeling of gratitude, it is a key to my enthusiasm for what I am allowed to live, what has emerged, what I did not have to look for, and it makes me feel joy. And I live in beautiful Attersee, and when I row around there life is good, and if I can make the children happy at a concert, a lot of things come back. When you hear a whole room sing, it does something to all of us, it is give and take, and our hearts also open.
ESI: How many concerts do you play?
MAI: Not that many anymore, maybe 50 a year, because I value life as a mother very much. Vienna has always been a difficult place. You couldn’t conquer Vienna until I did. And now they are such a thing. The last time we played an orchestral concert, it was like riding a wave that never stops. My songs go to the heart, but if an orchestra takes them, what’s more, that was my favorite moment of emotion this year. There was also a children’s choir! So I have to be careful not to cry myself! It really does something to me.
* The podcast was recorded before Corona.