About Teddy Bear Songs
The Teddy Bear Walk was born from a desire to help. It’s really that simple. In turn, that first song inspired the creation of 10 Teddy Bear characters, each of whom now has their own song and story – The Teddy Bear Songs.
Composer Susan Philippa had recently rediscovered a childhood friend – her younger brother’s teddy bear, now in her possession after her brother sadly and suddenly passed away, having courageously lived with Giulian Barre Virus since the age of 17.
Around the same time, teddy bears began to pop up in windows, gardens and on fences around the world, creating some socially-distanced magic for children during the global coronavirus pandemic. Millions of kids from Wichita to Warialda, London to Lisbon and Reykjavik to Randwick, went on daily walks to count Teddy Bears while getting their exercise and much needed outdoor time during Lockdowns. As well as counting the bears they discovered each day, they also wrote down details of each bear’s personality.
Not only did these Teddy Bear Walks provide children with a welcome distraction from the darkness surrounding them, it brought some fun back into their lives when they weren’t able to play with friends. In a way, it gave them back their childhood.
For adults, it generated a sense of safety in the community. The bears were a way for people to feel connected during a time of forced separation from family and friends. It felt like people in the neighbourhood were there to support each other. A bear in the window was a signal of friendliness and warmth – something to combat the fear and stress the pandemic brought to all our lives.
These elements mixed together in Susan’s mind, and ‘The Teddy Bear Walk’ soon emerged. It was a way for the composer to show her personal appreciation for everyone trying to do their best during very difficult circumstances, while at the same time paying tribute to an iconic part of most children’s childhood.
In Susan’s own words:
“Children are our future and to retain their innocence, belief and happiness in today’s world is a real challenge… I’d really like to leave a legacy and help parents and the next generation of kids to move forward in positivity. A Teddy Bear is often a child’s first best friend. Teddy Bear Songs add music to the healing mix.”
Music and Mental Health
Power to improve health and well-being
Scientific evidence has proven that music can have profoundly positive effects on us, helping address physical, emotional and social needs. Health Psychologist Dr. Shilagh Mirgain, PhD says: “Music helps reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. It eases anxiety and can help improve mood.”
Listening to, singing and making music all have a positive impact on the emotions of children in particular. It has been shown to increase communication, socialisation and memory in children. Music has the power to improve their health and wellbeing. It can console them in their grief or loneliness and bring peace and calm to their hearts.
So Susan Philippa’s music for children, delivered in combination with the most traditional and timeless of toys – the teddy bear companions who often remain a keepsake right through to adult life – is a powerful tool for helping kids cope in an increasingly difficult world.
Meet the Composer
Susan Philippa is a composer, conductor, performer and teacher.
A graduate of the University of Newcastle / Conservatorium of Music, Susan holds a Bachelor of Music with a double major in Wind Ensemble Studies and Studio Teaching and also holds a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of New England, Armidale. She is also a Trainer and Assessor.
As well as operating her own Private Music Teaching Studio, Susan has held the position of Band Director and Instrumental Teacher in several school music programs. Her students have celebrated much success in performances, as recording artists, competitors, in examinations and in live performance at both school and community events.
She has a great sense of purpose and is truly committed to helping others, and supporting communities.
Susan markets Teddy Bear Songs under the banner of Flik the Switch Productions.