Sydney/Wollongong based cellist and singer Kaija Upenieks, was classically trained at the Australian National University’s School of Music. Her Latvian upbringing has diversified her influences in recent years, incorporating the folk and world music circuits.
Kaija enjoys collaborating with other artists and has performed in numerous settings, including festivals, charity, corporate and caberet shows. She has worked extensively with story tellers, singer/songwriters, in string quartets/trios, has led and arranged for various singing groups and collaborated with Ann-Lehmann-Kuit for UKENDOOIT ukulele workshops.
Kaija has recorded her own children’s albums CELEBRATE THE SEASONS and BULLI BAY and contributed to the recordings of other artists. The songs and music from Kaija’s albums are enjoyed by hundreds of children each week in her music program SING A SONG DANCE ALONG.
Since 2005, she has visited child care centres and kindergartens weekly in the eastern suburbs of Sydney to deliver her hugely popular music program. Kaija is passionate about working with children and loves enriching children’s lives with culture, creativity and diversity connecting young people, parents and caretakers through singing, dancing and music making. Her music education program is inspired from her training in Dalcroze, Orff, Kodaly and Suzuki methods of early childhood music teaching. Since 2022 Kaija also teaches the CHiME program at the Wollongong Conservatorium of music at the beautiful Glennifer Brae campus.
Nara is a singer and flautist since the age of 7. Since graduating from University of Wollongong with B Teaching (Early Childhood) in 1999 she has worked at preschools, child care centres and primary schools and privately to integrate music into the programs of early childhood settings.
Nara is passionate about working with children and loves enriching children’s lives with culture, creativity and diversity connecting young people, parents and families through singing, dancing and music making. Her music education program is inspired from her experience, training and love of music. Nara is also a mother of three daughters, which inspire her to share the gift and educational value of music on a daily basis.
Nara enjoys collaborating with other teachers, educators and artists and has performed in numerous settings, including festivals, cultural and charity music events.
Life Rhythms Music
Coming from a family of Latvian heritage, a culture rich in its strong singing identity, Kaija’s family also have a common thread of sharing their passion of music especially in early childhood settings.
Mum Maija began her family music groups “Musictime at Thirroul” in 1989 until 2020. Sadly, Maija died in October 2020 and is missed by her family, students and her many friends in her music and Latvian communities. Kaija with sisters Nara and Vesma continue their beloved mother’s legacy continuing MUSIC TIME @ THIRROUL classes. Sisters Nāra (flautist) and Vēsma (violinist) are early childhood educators and also teach early childhood music at the Thirroul studio and beyond within the Illawarra region.
For information about MUSICTIME AT THIRROUL or private music tuition please contact us via the Book Now button.