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In Children's Music, Diana Panton Finds A Few Lessons For Adults

Jazz artist Diana Panton's new album, <em>I Believe In Little Things</em>, is her first made for children.
Jo Dickins
Courtesy of the artist
Jazz artist Diana Panton's new album, I Believe In Little Things, is her first made for children.

For more than 10 years, Diana Panton has been quietly building her jazz career. She's also a high-school French teacher by day, which means she mostly records and tours while her students are on vacation. But on her latest album, she's aiming for a new audience.

I Believe In Little Things is Panton's first release made for kids. She decided to record it after some parents told her they were already playing her albums for their children.

"When I make an album, I always do try to find really well-written songs that have great lyrics, and this was no different," she says. "I didn't really change the way I sang, because I thought, 'If parents and kids are already connecting with those songs that I did on the other albums, then I don't need to dummy this down. I don't need to change it.' So we really pretty much stuck with our format. It's just that we tried to find, lyrically, songs that were more suitable to children."

Speaking with NPR's Kelly McEvers, Panton explained how she assembled Little Things' track list (which includes a few numbers from Sesame Street) and got some candid feedback from a 4-year-old fan. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.

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