Magic Penny Award

2000: Marcia Berman

It would be hard to imagine a nursery school that didn't have several of Marcia Berman's albums in frequent use. She has recorded fourteen albums for children during forty creative years. Singer, songwriter and teacher, her songs speak directly to the emotions of children, helping young people to express and accept their feelings. Based in Los Angeles, she is known throughout the country among parents, educators, professional associations, and fellow children's music artists. Several generations of children have been raised on her albums, and several generations of teachers have benefited from her workshops at their schools and colleges, and at local, regional and national conferences.

Marcia is a graduate of the University of California and is a former kindergarten and elementary school teacher. She has produced award-winning albums as a solo artist and in collaboration with fellow artists Patty Zeitlin, Anne Barlin, Uncle Ruthie Buell and others, always making children want to respond, move and sing along.

Marcia is a real pioneer in the field of children's music. When she began in the 1950's, she was one of a very small handful of people in the country to do this type of work with children and teachers and likely the first in Southern California. She sang, recorded, produced, collaborated, and taught. As part of building her own career, she paved the way for others to follow. Even in retirement, Marcia continues to coach, encourage and mentor new generations of children's music artist-educators.

The Marcia Berman Fund for Music and Young Children was established in 1997 to continue her work. Its mission is to promote awareness of the importance of music in the school, in the home, and in the lives of young children, and to support activities that bring developmentally appropriate music to young children, families and teachers. The Fund sponsors an Annual Marcia Berman Day of Music for Young Children, produces audio and video products appropriate for young children, and collaborates with arts and education organizations on projects of mutual interest that benefit young children. The Marcia Berman Fund is a project of Community Partners, a 401(c)(3) nonprofit agency that serves as an incubator and corporate umbrella for programs of benefit to communities in Southern California. Proceeds from the sale of products are used to support the work of the Fund.


  • Marcia Berman Sings Lullabies and songs you never dreamed were lullabies - B/B Records
  • Rabbits Dance (songs by Malvina Reynolds) - B/B Records
  • Cloud Journeys (Multicultural) - with Ann Barlin, B/B Records
  • Dance-A-Story, Sing-A-Song (Multicultural) - with Ann Barlin, B/B Records
  • Won't You Be My Friend - with Patty Zeitlin, Educational Activities Records
  • I'm Not Small - with Patty Zeitlin, Educational Activities Records
  • Spin Spider Spin - with Patty Zeitlin, Educational Activities Records
  • Rainy Day Dances and Rainy Day Songs - with Patty Zeitlin, Educational Activities Records
  • Everybody Cries Sometimes - with Patty Zeitlin, Educational Activities Records
  • Castle in my City (songs by Patty Zeitlin) - with Patty Zeitlin, Educational Activities Records
  • Activity Songs for Kids - (songs by Marcia Berman) - The Smithsonian Institution Folkways Cassette Series:07523
  • Take a Little Step - (songs by Uncle Ruthie Buell) - with Uncle Ruthie Buell, URC-01
  • The Best of Marcia Berman - a compilation of songs taken from earlier recordings, Marcia Berman Fund for Music & Young Children (available from Childrens Book World in Los Angeles, (310) 559-2665)
  • Chanukah at Home (with Pam Wood, Dan Crow, Marcia Berman, John Wood, Uncle Ruthie Buell and Fred Sokolow) - Rounder Records

Photo: Marcia Berman recieves mp-photosmp-photo by Janice Buckner

Marcia Berman accepts the
2000 Magic Penny Award
presented by Sarah Pirtle.

Photo: Marcia Berman shows mp-photosPhoto by Andy MorsePhoto: 2000 Magic Penny AwardPhoto: 2000 Magic Penny AwardPhotos by Scott Kepnes

Marcia gives the crowd a close-up look.

Award Designer: Eliza Zeitlin