21st century parents are often confronted with aggressive and selfish behaviour in all aspects of society and increasingly in children’s media, such as television, video games, online and even in children’s storybooks. In 2012, renowned celebrity vocal coach and award winning songwriter Roxanne Kiely recognised the demand and need for an educational entertainment series for young children. She created Busy Izzy, which encourages friendliness, co-operation, compassion, generosity and a healthy lifestyle.
The multi-media entertainment series is endorsed by the World Literacy Foundation and praised by Bec Hewitt and her family. It focuses on a range of learning areas suitable for children of all ages, including childhood development, education, social interaction and musical development. Since the release of the first book Busy Izzy and Friends six months ago, over 5,000 copies have already been sold. The valuable morals and use of playful rhythms and rhymes of the series have already proven to be a hit with children around Australia as the second book, Busy Izzy and Newly Truly – The Big Surprise! already has a pre-order of over 2,500 copies.
Roxanne has and continues to make a marked contribution to the music industry with accreditation from Music NSW and as Co-Director of well-established music school Scoop FX Music with husband Stephen Kiely. She is also President of not-for-profit songwriting organisation, Songsalive! Australia and Singing Teacher to a number of well-known stars, such as Delta Goodrem, Hayley Warner and Marlisa Punzalan (Winner of X Factor 2014), just to name a few. With the release of the Busy Izzy series, she is now changing the world of learning for children too.
“Throughout my life, I’ve written songs about everything – from heartache to happiness and have found songwriting to be a great outlet,” says Roxanne. “Being a songwriter and Co-Director of Scoop FX Music has built the foundation for me to create the Busy Izzy brand. From very early in my career as a Vocal Coach, I noticed that to help each student achieve their musical goals involved both of us understanding their psychological condition. Once those conditions have been addressed, students improve in their vocal and/or musical ability.”
“Fear of public speaking, singing and performing are the most common phobias our students face. Stephen and I have taught and still teach many students who have anxiety and ADHD, among other conditions. It is through songwriting and music that our students can write and share their experiences. Subconsciously I may have drawn from our students’ variety of conditions and circumstances when creating the Busy Izzy characters. Busy Izzy’s friends also experience ADHD, bullying, gender politics and even the fear of odd numbers (disparnumerophobia), which are addressed in a positive and supportive manner in the series. It is also through our careers at ScoopFX Music that Stephen and I have been able to co-write and produce all the songs for Busy Izzy. We’ve found that music, particularly playful rhythms and rhymes, helps children develop their reading and learning skills,” says Roxanne.
Roxanne’s top five tips on how to create a brand that kids and parents resonate to are:
Busy Izzy is beyond just a book series, as the brand features healthy recipes, catchy sing-a-long songs in CDs, music videos, along with the exciting creation of an app for IOS and Android. The app will include the first two books as e-books with audio, songs from the CDs and a memory game. As the project develops and expands, more interactive and educational games will be added.
“Busy Izzy is certainly living up to her name with many plans on the horizon for the series. Book three of the series - Busy Izzy and Talkative Tess will be released later in the year. We are also in discussion with animators in Ireland for a Busy Izzy and Friends TV show, with sights for international distribution. Within the next five years, I hope all 10 books of the series will be published and Busy Izzy’s positive values and characteristics can be instilled in children all around Australia,” says Roxanne.
The music videos can be viewed here - https://www.youtube.com/c/Busyizzyandfriends