About

Barbara Murphy, aka Teacher Barb, has been singing, playing and writing music since she herself was a wee one. As a young child, Teacher Barb used to fall asleep to the sound of her mother playing classical piano.  Even when Teacher Barb was five she thought to herself, “music makes me feel better.”

At the age of 7, inspired by her musical mother, Teacher Barb started to play the piano herself. And so began her life-long love affair with music.

But, it wasn’t until she moved to Ireland at the age of 19 and bought her first guitar that Teacher Barb truly understood the magic of music making. It was much easier to travel with a guitar than a piano and so she found herself in foreign lands making new friends and having fantastic adventures all by speaking the language of music.

Upon returning home, Teacher Barb discovered that songs could be sung as love letters, or as gifts for good friends and family. The more she sang and the more she played, the more she realized music makes EVERYONE feel better.

In 2006, in an effort to hone her musical skills and meet fabulous musicians, Teacher Barb volunteered at Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco. At Blue Bear, a whole new world opened up. She studied jazz, rock n’ roll, soul and R&B, old timey music, rhythm and blues. By 2007, Blue Bear hired Teacher Barb to help launch a music program called Little Bears for children 6 months-5 years old.  Under the fine tutelage of friend and mentor Charity Kahn (jamjamjam.com), Barbara Murphy became Teacher Barb. She developed a specific skill set for effectively teaching music to young people and the adults who love them.

Teacher Barb begged and borrowed much of her curriculum from excellent educators in San Francisco as well as famous pop, rock, jazz and folk artists of the ages:  Queen, The Jackson Five, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Paul and Mary, James Taylor, Kermit the Frog the list goes on and on.

When asked how she makes music education fun for such young children Teacher Barb replied, “ Teaching children music is like baking a good biscuit.  If you follow a simple recipe it usually turns out all right. First you mix in music that rocks and grooves so children can feel the beat in their bones. Second, you add music that speaks to the spirit of each child. Sing about animals, the sun and moon, family, food and love. Third, let the music sit and settle. Allow the time for each child to find their own voice, move to their own groove and find the music that makes them feel good. Children love rock n’ roll and jazz, reggae and nursery rhymes, blues ballads, folk and hip hop, and silly songs of all kinds. The well of “children’s music” is much deeper than most adults realize.”

Teacher Barb lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches young children in many San Francisco pre-schools and can still be found making a musical raucous in the Little Bears classroom at Blue Bear School of Music (www.bluebearmusic.org).

Teacher Barb’s alter ego, Barb Murphy singer and songwriter, can be found around San Francisco playing everything from rock to jazz, blues to country. Barb Murphy the singer/songwriter is currently writing and recording her first album due to hit the airwaves in Summer 2012. Watch out! And check out this rough mix of a song called Two Tin Cans: