Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Tracy Bonham

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Bonham over Zoom video!

Tracy Bonham just released her debut children’s album, Young Maestros Vol. 1.

Tracy Bonham became an overnight sensation in the mid-90s with a hit song and double Grammy® nominations for her Gold Record certified album The Burdens of Being Upright, an edgy and complex album of angsty alt-rock songs that included her chart-topping hit single, “Mother Mother.” Over the years, Bonham released six more albums to wide critical acclaim, but the debut album was the one that struck a chord with so many disenfranchised young people all over the world. While screaming “everything’s fine!” all over the globe, Bonham’s classical music education would continue to be an inspiration for her and would become something for her to rub up against, to challenge the idea that a musical performance must be perfect.  

In 2006, Tracy was touring the world as the featured vocalist and violinist with Blue Man Group for their second arena tour when she decided to take a break from life on the road to start a family. While at home, she called upon her classical music education and began teaching private piano, violin and voice lessons.  Her special ability to connect with and inspire children was immediately obvious, and she began formulating a curriculum and an approach to teaching that were the building blocks of her new company, Melodeon Music House: .  

In April 2021, she debuts her first children’s album based on her joyful approach to music education. Young Maestros Vol. 1is a celebration of music and movement that includes 11 songs that aren’t only fun to dance and sing along to but also teach musical concepts in an entertaining and light-hearted way. Bassist Rene Hart collaborated on songwriting, and Josh Margolis co-produced the album with Bonham.

With these songs, Bonham conveys her conviction that anyone can make music, and anyone can get past limitations. The styles and messages of the songs harken back to the influences of such 1970s children’s media as Free To Be You And Me and Sesame Street. 

Bonham found that the educational materials available for beginners and intermediate levels (piano, violin, or voice) did not put enough emphasis on what she considered to be the building block of a life of musical exploration and inspiration: joy. Anyone can learn how to place their fingers on a piano keyboard, or on the fingerboard of a violin to make music. But the question is how do you get a child to really care about it?  

Instead, the Melodeon Music House approach demonstrates that the process of making music can be more about fun than the achievement. By learning the fundamentals of music, one can create a platform for self-expression that leads to empowerment and confidence for the rest of one’s life. Young Maestros Vol. 1 is just the beginning of the larger Melodeon Music House educational program that is infused with Bonham’s passion for theory, harmony and the emotional well-being of children.  

Since 2015, Bonham has been testing her curriculum at The Brooklyn Preschool of Science, where she fell in love with teaching preschool age children. Tracy states, “This is the age before children start believing the words ‘I can’t’. This is the age where children are totally game to express joy, and this is where I can impart the joy I have for music and education. Perhaps it is also my attempt to connect with the little girl in me who felt she didn’t have a voice.”

Learn more about Tracy Bonham at, and visitMelodeon Music House:

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We want to hear from you! Please email [email protected].

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