Ben and the Sunshine Boys – An Interview by Eileen

Das ist Ben!

Er liebt es, Gitarre zu spielen (wie man auch oben sehen kann), aber er kann auch auf der Ukulele und dem Kazoo spielen.

Ben van Haeff is an Australian children’s singer-songwriter. Ben wurde 1971 in Australien geboren und lebt, zusammen mit seiner Frau und ihrem Sohn, seit 2000 in Nürnberg. Er gibt, zusammen mit seiner Band, The Sunshine Boys, unterhaltsame und interaktive Konzerte für Kinder und die ganze Familie.Seit 2005 bietet Ben van Haeff englische Mitmachprogramme auch in vielen Kindergärten und Grundschulen im Großraum Nürnberg an.

Ben sagt: Meine Lieder unterstützen die Kinder dabei, einen ersten Kontakt mit einer Fremdsprache zu herzustellen. Lernen ist für mich der Schritt von etwas Bekanntem zu dem, was unbekannt ist. In dem wir diesen Weg gehen, lernen wir!


Eileen: Where are you from?

Ben: That´s a deep first question……. I come from the miracle of life (hehe!!!!!!!). Actually, I was born in Bowral, New South Wales, Australia…..yeh that´s right, I come from the land “Down Under “!!!

Eileen: When, and why, did you come to Germany?

Ben: Well, when I finished Uni in Sydney Australia I went travelling and met a young German woman in India…… we fell in love and the rest is history!

Eileen: What is your job?

Ben: I manage a small business called Creative Kidz, teaching children English through music, movement and creativity. I work in kindergartens and schools and also perform concerts with my band the Sunshine Family. My music is mostly for children, but I’m currently recording a new CD that’s more for adults but I think kids will love it too. It’s called “Down to Earth”, and I am also starting to perform these songs at concerts.

Eileen: Do you like your job, and why?

Ben: I love my job, because I get to do what I love doing. I love working with children and I love playing music and being creative. I still can´t believe I make a living from this but it feels like the perfect job for me.

Eileen: When did you start playing music?

Ben: I think I liked music. My dad used to play lots of records (we didn´t have a TV) when I was a kid and I think that influenced my love of music. At school, I used to sing in a choir and when I was 14 I listened to Led Zepplin and AC/DC and started teaching myself to play guitar.

Eileen: What instruments do you play?

Ben: I play guitar, ukulele and the kazoo!!!

Eileen: Do you ever get homesick?

Ben: Yes I do……. Australia is so so far away. Mostly, I feel quite good in Germany though (it´s normally when I´m not feeling good that I miss Australia the most). I normally get to go back to Australia every two years, which is really magical and I think I appreciate it more having lived away for so long.

Eileen: What is your favourite song?

Ben: That´s a tough question: I listen to lots of different music depending on how I feel. My favourite artists include: Jack Johnson, Xavier Rudd, Glen Hansard and Raffi.

Eileen: What is your favourite song you wrote?

Ben: So many to choose from: from my children´s music I´d have to say “On a Sunny Morning“ cause it was written with my son, when we used to ride together to Kindergarten….he used to just make up funny characters…..he also sings the song on the CD. The song I love to play with children the most is “Jump, jump, kangaroo“!

Eileen: How does it feel like when you play music?

Ben: Music was always really personal for me and I mostly played for myself in my bedroom so it´s kinda strange now that I get to perform at concerts. There is a real magic in music and it´s a place I often go when I´ve had a bad day or even when something really good has happened and then turn it into music………it´s my therapy and meditation really!

Eileen: If you had to do another job, what job would you do?

Ben: Tram driver! Hahaha!!! Sometimes I think that would be easier than following my creativity and music… you know having a track to drive on and designated stops seems really easy in comparison and I´d still get to do something that helps others.

Eileen: Do you have a funny story from your time in Germany?

Ben: Hmmmm…….I always tell school kids my first and only German sentence before moving here…..they always seem to find it funny…….drum roll…….“Lumpi ist ein Hund“. As you might imagine, it didn´t help me much so I had to go to a language school. I think I´ve made lots of funny language mistakes over the years… least it makes people laugh….mostly though I have no clue why they are laughing!!!!!

Eileen: Which question would you ask yourself if you were the interviewer?

Ben: Why do you ask so many questions……na just joking! It was a pleasure doing the interview Eileen.


Ben hat auch schon 3 CDs rausgebracht

1. CD

Im November 2009 ist seine erste CD „Down Under, Up and Over“ erschienen. Jedes Lied kann für sich alleine stehen, jedoch alle zusammen erzählen eine Geschichte (Songline), entlang derer die Kinder eingeladen sind, zu reisen. Diese „Songlines“ (Pfade des Lernens) führen sie an einen Ort voller neuer Entdeckungen und Abenteuer. In das Land am anderen Ende der Welt; Australien.

2. CD

Das Haus schwingt und singt (inside and out), die Affen hüpfen auf den Betten, da ist ein Fisch in der Toilette und irgendwer hat auch noch die leckeren Kekse geklaut……..eine inspirierende Sammlung von neuen und bekannten ‘sing-a-long‘ Songs. So macht Englisch Spaß! Open the door and step inside to a world of music, magic and fun!

 3. CD

It’s time to take a walk on the wild side and join Ben and his Friends in their all new CD and musical adventure ‚Let’s Go Animal‘.

Disappearing monkeys, animals that like Hip Hop, a Bear Hunt (if you’re not too scared), a visit to Grandpa’s Farm and plenty of surprises.


Ich kann seine CDs für Kinder und Erwachsene nur empfehlen!

Hier hat Ben van Haeff als letztes Konzerte gegeben:

Bardentreffen (Nürnberg), KinderKulturTag (Erlangen), Deutsch Amerikanisches Institut (Nürnberg), Playmobil Funpark (Zirndorf), Grüne Lust (Anwanden), SOKE Kinderfest (Nürnberg), Sternenhaus (Nürnberg), Franconian International School (Erlangen), Franken Australia Fest (Mitteleschenbach), Südpunkt (Nürnberg).


DISCOGRAPHY: Ben van Haeff and Friends

DOWN UNDER UP and OVER: eine musikalische Reise nach Australien (Creative Kidz Music, 2009)

INSIDE OUT: This is my House (Creative Kidz Music, 2012)

LET’S GO ANIMAL: (Creative Kidz Music, 2016)


Von Eileen, 5.Klasse