‘Doodlebug’ song success

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Wanaka songwriter and performer Anna van Riel has won second place in the Songs for Children category at the Australian National Songwriting Awards.

“There are literally hundreds of entrants so it is very exciting to have made it through to second place,” Ms van Riel said.

Her song Doodlebug won second prize.

“New Zealand children’s music is really growing and becoming a thing,” Ms van Riel said.

She credited Suzy Cato, presenter of children’s preschool show You and Me, for leading the way in championing music for children.

“Suzy set up Kiwi kids music which has given all children’s songwriters a voice.”

“There are two battered copies of You and Me in the library and my kids love Suzy,” she said.

“I think You and Me should be back on the air.”

Being a mother with small children meant Ms van Riel wanted to strike the balance between performing and bringing up her children.

“It would be pretty ironic if I was away all the time performing for other children.”

Ms van Riel said she had many more children’s songs written, and hoped to soon record an album.

Most of her performing tended to be around community projects.

“I’m also the founder of Plastic Bag-free Wanaka, and I like to perform at events that have a charitable focus.”

Ms van Riel would next be performing at the Upper Clutha Plunket free community teddy bear’s picnic at Wanaka Station Park on Sunday.