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Developing multiple talents: 5 year old singer, actor Kaitlyn Maher

Posted Sep 04 2009 10:04pm

From article: At 5, singer hits high notes in her career, by Catherine Cheney, Los Angeles Times September 4, 2009

Kaitlyn Maher was a finalist on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ and has a new CD and a Disney movie coming out.

Kaitlyn has performed at the 2008 lighting of the national Christmas tree and the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival. She spent January through April in Hollywood with her mom and baby brother to meet with agents for “Santa Buddies,” a Disney movie expected on DVD on Nov. 24, in which she is the voice of a dog named Tiny. And she is recording her debut album, set for release in early October, in Nashville.

Kaitlyn said she enjoyed filming the movie but prefers singing. “It glorifies God and it makes people happy,” she explained.

[Her parents] Reuben and Alison said they believe Kaitlyn can make a difference, and even bless people, with her voice.

Her life is online for all to see, displayed through blurbs, posts, videos and cellphone pictures, on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. As artists use social media to market not only their music but also their daily lives, keeping a balance is a tough task for parents of child stars.

“We want to give [fans] a selective view into her life but, because of her age and because she is a child and because she’s our daughter, we’re very cautious about how big that view is,” Reuben said.

He and Alison devote two to three hours daily to tweeting, checking and responding to MySpace and Facebook messages, and managing the YouTube account. They show selected messages to Kaitlyn, who never goes on these sites.

“We try to show her more of the things about how music has inspired people, as opposed to things like ‘You’re the greatest singer in the world!’ ” Reuben said.

Kaitlyn said she enjoys singing, acting, dancing, swimming, taking piano lessons and spending time with her little brother. “Most of all, I like being a princess and dressing up and wearing crowns,” she added.

Kaitlyn, who is home-schooled, reads at the fourth-grade level and loves playing math and spelling games. She memorizes lyrics quickly, usually in about 15 minutes.

“I can’t tell you how many thousands of times I’ve heard, ‘Let her just be a kid,’ ” Reuben said. “But she pushes us.”

developing multiple talents, self-exploration, developing creativity, creative potential, gifted children

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