It’s been said that if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. Performing as singers in the children’s band ScribbleMonster, Naperville residents Jayne Saniat and Joyce Stuart could not agree more.
ScribbleMonster is the brainchild of James Dague. Working with his wife, Paige Dague, they created ScribbleBooks as a way for children to express themselves through the arts. When Dague, better known as Scribble Jim, wanted to expand to include music and dance, he knew just who to call.
Dague met Saniat and Stuart while attending Oak Lawn High School.
“We were all in a play together,” says Saniat, 50, who had dreamed of a job in the performing arts.
When Dague contacted his future bandmates with his idea, they were excited about working together again.
As working mothers, Scribble Jayne and Scribble Joyce wondered how they could balance child care with their new jobs on stage. The solution was simple.
“Jim told us to bring the kids along,” says Stuart, 46 and the mother of three girls.
While every day might have been Bring Your Children to Work Day, it was sometimes hard to be a child of a performer.
“My daughter Brittnay used to get jealous when other kids climbed into my lap,” Saniat says.
Both Saniat and Stuart agree that their children are proud of what their mothers are doing.
“It’s fun for them to see us in our element,” Stuart says.
In its 14th season, ScribbleMonster regularly performs at libraries, preschools and festivals. Their fun, interactive show is a combination of singing, dancing and improvisation written with the whole family in mind.
“I love the fact that, if a kid or adult wants to come up on stage to perform with us, we just roll with it, and it becomes a whole different show,” Stuart says.
While Stuart performs with the band during their busy summer season, Saniat is with the band all year. She and Dague also teach music enrichment at Elmhurst Academy for children up to age six.
“We even sing to the babies,” Saniat says. “By the end of the year, you see them learn to clap and roll their hands. It’s awesome.”
It’s hard not to clap and sing along with ScribbleMonster favorites like “Chocolate Milk,” “I Really Like You, Baby” and “Our Summer Song.” The band has seven albums, available on CD at Amazon or CD Baby and at iTunes. You also can hear ScribbleMonster nationally on Sirius XM radio and Pandora, as well as independent radio stations.
The women of ScribbleMonster share highlights of their past performances, including Lollapalooza, Kid’s Day at U.S. Cellular and an event at Guild Hall in the Hamptons — sponsored by Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld.
For Saniat, the performances she enjoys are the ones where she is making a difference.
“When I am in a room with special needs groups, I feel like that is where I should be. I don’t think a lot of people bring them music, and they love it,” says Saniat, the mother of four, including a daughter on the autism spectrum.
At the end of the day, ScribbleMonster loves to see the creativity that comes from the children in their audiences.
“It’s truly inspiring,” Saniat says.
Many of their fans might say the same about them.
ScribbleMonster is scheduled to perform at more than 70 shows this summer. On May 10, Naperville residents can see them live at the Millennium Carillon. ScribbleMonster also will perform at Autism Speaks on May 17 at Soldier Field and June 19 at Morton Arboretum.