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Imagine you’re a performer about to take the stage. Your guitar is ready in hand as you warm up your vocals and prepare to sing original songs for a wild crowd. Fans chant your name, anxiously awaiting the performance of a lifetime.
One Lansing resident plays for a wild crowd weekly — just not that kind. Tim Marzorati sings, plays guitar and writes original songs. When he takes the stage, he’s looking over a crowd of children.
“I like to think of it as ‘edutainment’,” said Marzorati, who performs as Tim the Music Man weekly. “I try to educate through an interactive musical experience by writing and performing original and classic children’s music with a bit of a twist.”
Marzorati, 50, graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in social science in 1991. When he became a father in 2004, he began writing songs for and about his two children.
“I try to come up with songs and stories that would be relevant to children,” he said. “I work hard to make my performances engaging to everyone that I play for. It’s so nice to see children respond to the various rhythms and tempos.”
He performs at the annual Children’s Concert Series hosted at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing.
“The Children’s Concerts are a monthlong series of concerts in the middle of winter,” said Heather Surface, a steward ship and community events specialist with the Hannah Community Center. “It gives parents and caretakers something fun and free to do in the middle of winter when kids are starting to get antsy about not being able to go outside in the cold.”
Marzorati has also encountered many rewarding moments.
“I will never forget the day that I brought a cello to school to play it for a student that I had never heard utter a single word,” Marzorati said. “The moment he saw me and the cello, he exclaimed ‘what’s that?’ It may not sound like much, but it was a gateway for this student.”
‘The Green Caterpillar,’ ‘Get Movin,’ ‘The Itty Bitty Kitty’ and ‘I Want Underpants’ are just some of the titles that Tim the Music Man has in his arsenal of songs to perform for the children.
“One of my favorite songs to play is called Next Big Something,” he said. “It’s all about possibilities that everyone has the potential to be amazing.”
Marzorati says his favorite part of a performance is watching the children’s interactions and their genuine appreciation for the songs he performs for them.
“It’s safe to say that this is my career. I hope to inspire future musicians or at least music enthusiasts,” he said. “I don’t do this job because of the income, it’s the outcome. It’s the way a child blossoms though the power of music.”
This report was contributed to City Pulse by MSU/Spartan Newsroom