Cousin Molly is performed by Laura Thomas of Toronto, Canada.
Laura has been involved with music since the tender age of 7 but did not make it her career until after working as an Industrial Microbiologist for some 6 years. Although most of her adult audiences don't know she is also Cousin Molly, she has for many years been involved with music for children.
As a child Laura sang in choirs, studied vocal music taking exams at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and performed in numerous musicals. At age 7 Laura performed in The Sound of Music as the youngest sister Gretl and later at aged 19 performed the lead role in The Sound of Music as Maria Von Trapp.
As a teenager, Laura spent many hours babysitting ......especially one family with 4 children. She also worked for several summers as a Day Camp Counsellor for the Toronto area YMCA Day Camps. She worked both at Greenwood Conservation Area as well as at Toronto Island Camp on Ward's Island. At camp Laura learned many songs, arts and crafts, stories and games with the children.
As a young adult Laura was the Choir director of The Kew Beach United Church Junior Choir. Once a week Laura joined 30 girls aged 8-12 for a varied music program. The girls learned songs and the rudiments of music from Laura. The girls also performed in Church as well as at Toronto Music Festivals.
Laura has played pop, rock, folk, blues and just about any kind of music you can imagine for adult audiences and you may also recognize her as an original member of The Amanda Marshall Band! She is a multi-instrumentalist and a highly regarded front and backing singer. She has also had the privilege of peforming live with Vince Gill, Tom Barlow, Snow, Ron Nigrini, Jeff Healey, Norm Hacking, Bill Candy, Adam Gontier (of Three Days Grace), David & Mike Hines as well as many others. Although Laura still plays music for adults - clubs, parties & corporate events she is specializing more and more in music for young children, and elementary aged children.
In the past several years Laura has played numerous shows and festivals as Cousin Molly. They have inculded shows at The Eaglewood Festival, The Caledon Folk Festival, The Children's Aid Society Christmas party, The Burlington Family Fun Day, Chapters Book Stores, Mattawa Voyageur Days, Downey's Farm and many others.
Laura also has become more and more involved in teaching music to young children ages 2-5 years old. Loaded up with puppets, instruments, pictures and other surprises, Laura has taught music to little people in Toronto, Branson, Missouri and now in Berlin, Germany. In Toronto she was the music teacher at The Hester How Learning Centre at Toronto's City Hall daycare. She also honed her skills being a stand-in for the infamous Jane Harvey .....who specializes in music for very young children. Thanks Jane!!
While living on the road with her musical family from 2000-2005 Laura performed for young children extensively in Branson, MO, and Berlin, Germany. She honed her teaching skills with the german-speaking children in Berlin and learned the real value of communicating with music and visuals. Being an english-speaking teacher with German only speaking children was very enlightening! She has since included a great amount of early childhood literacy throughout her music programs for very young children.
Laura is always interested in sharing her music and knowledge with children. Her aim is to peak a child's interest in music and open up their world to what can be a life-long enjoyment. Laura believes that music is for everyone! She especially likes the challenge of entertaining while teaching these special little people and is always looking for new ways to share her music in a way that reaches them.
For several years now Laura has been back living, performing and teaching in The Toronto area and throughout southern Ontario. She is specializing more and more in music for young children and elementary groups. She is available for birthday parties, one-time shows for daycares & kindergartens, monthly & bi-monthly music classes for daycares, afterschool Instrument Shows, festivals and more.
She looks forward to playing music with your children!
Cousin Molly wishes you a great musical experience!!
Community Work by Laura...
Laura believes in giving back to her community! She is presently on The Board of Directors of The Mill Race Folk Festival in Cambridge, ON and is also the new Vice President of The Business and Professional Women's Association (BPW) Cambridge!