Stacey Peasley, children’s musician, shares why she became a musician, her favorite spots on Long Island and in New England, and her favorite place to watch a sunset. She also shares words of wisdom for aspiring musicians.
Lauren — Travel and Write Today: How did you initially decide to become a musician? How old were you when you started writing songs?
Stacey Peasley: Wow! It’s hard to think about when it actually became a conscious choice! I feel like it’s such a part of who I am that it’s always been there. I did audition for my first “paid” band when I was 18 in response to an ad placed in a Long Island Musicians paper called “The Island Ear”. I got the gig, and performed for the first time, in the summer of 1992, at a bar called Claudio’s in Greenport, LI! This band was a cover band (which were a big thing on Long Island.) I wrote my first song when I was in Junior High on my Casio keyboard called “One Last Kiss’ about a short-lived teen romance. No one has ever heard that one! LOL! I still remember it!
TWT: LOL! Do you remember the lyrics? I want to hear it! Also, I remember how popular cover bands were on Long Island – I’m sure they still are!
TWT: What is one of your favorite songs you’ve written?
SP: This is a tough one! So many of my children’s songs are based on my family life and have special memories, so it’s hard to pick just one. I did write a song that I don’t actually perform a lot called “Happy Tears” which emulates the girl group sound of the 1960s. I have always wanted to write something in that style, so I’m proud I pulled it off. It’s truly a love song from parent to child. As far as a song I regularly perform, I think “Rocketship” is my favorite!
TWT: I love Rocketship too! I’d love to hear Happy Tears!
TWT: I know you grew up on Long Island (just like me!), what are some of your favorite spots to visit when you get back there?
SP: I grew up in Valley Stream and love visiting some of my favorite food places that I grew up on – Ancona pizza, Itgen’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Magic Bagels. Valley Stream also has a gorgeous park behind my old High School, and I love to go there and walk and reminisce. I also love driving around to all the towns I used to hang out in – hop on the Southern State Parkway or Sunrise Highway and just go! Other favorites are going to Brooklyn and NYC!
TWT: So funny – I was just talking about the Southern State Parkway. I love Magic Bagels!
TWT: What are some of your favorite spots to visit in New England? What are some of your favorite restaurants?
SP: We are so lucky in New England to have the beaches and mountains in relatively close proximity to Metrowest. I’d have to say we love visiting the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard the most. We like staying at the Sea Crest in Falmouth which has great beach access. Day trips are great also – we’ve gone to many coastal towns in Maine and New Hampshire for a quick getaway. We just got home today from a Vermont and New Hampshire trip and it was just gorgeous!
As far as restaurants, we like a lot of local places – Zitis, Buttercup, Dates and Olives, Juniper, Lola’s, and Rice Noodle!
TWT: I love Falmouth too! We really are so lucky. New England has so many amazing spots for road trips! I love all of your favorite restaurants in the area!
TWT: What is your go-to coffee/tea order, and from where?
SP: Definitely an iced or hot with cream and sugar. MUST be cream, not milk! I kind of bounce around based on where I am, but still am searching for one to call my favorite place to order from!
TWT: Where is your favorite spot to watch a sunrise/sunset?
SP: We have been away and have seen some gorgeous sunsets! (I’m usually not up and out early enough for a sunrise!) A Montauk sunset is one of the most beautiful and we saw a gorgeous one in Ocean City, Maryland this summer!
TWT: What is your favorite book?
SP: I love to read, but don’t always make the time to, but I have been lately! It was a very long time ago, but I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb was always my favorite.
TWT: Can you share a memorable moment you’ve had while working in this industry?
SP: So many! A parent catching their child’s first steps on video at one of my shows was pretty cool! Also, finding out a non-verbal child at a school for children with special needs said his first word at school, “bubbles” because he loved my song “Soapy Bubbles”, was also a pretty amazing feeling.
I’m so lucky to witness such special moments between parents and children at my shows and classes, and I always say I wish I had a camera on my shoulder so they could see what I see! I have won a few awards for my songwriting which is always a special feeling also!
TWT: Wow, such special moments. Thank you for sharing this with us! Your awards are well-deserved.
TWT: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
SP: I’d say don’t rule out Children’s music! It is a field I never imagined I’d be in and it is so much fun, so rewarding, and has great longevity. Music keeps you young, and working with children keeps you even younger. They are an audience who truly loves and appreciates what you do! (And you can get away with wearing crazy outfits and jewelry and it’s okay, b/c you work with kids!)
TWT: It is the same advice I’d give to aspiring writers – don’t rule out children’s books as a genre – children (and parents) truly love it, and it creates wonderful memories.
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Photo Credit: Sara Sniderman Photography https://sarasnidermanphotography.com/