Chris Molla/Fingerpaint Music

Christopher Molla is an independent composer, musician and educator who has been making music for children and their grownups for more than 20 years. While working on his bachelor of arts degree in music at UC Santa Cruz, he co-founded popular alt-rock band Camper Van Beethoven. During his tenure with C.V.B., he recorded albums, toured widely and enjoyed the status of a college-radio cult figure. After leaving the band, he went on to earn an MA in music composition at Mills College, where he studied with Anthony Braxton, Robert Ashley and David Rosenboom.

Shortly after finishing at Mills, Chris became a music teacher at an elementary school, where he discovered that making music for and with children and families was just the thing to do! Since then, he has earned a teaching certificate in Orff-Schulwerk, studying with practitioners of international reputation, and has taught at the preschool, elementary and college levels. For several years, he ran his own wildly popular childhood music program in San Francisco, Jump Up Music and Movement. He recently earned an MFA degree in Digital Arts and New Media from UC Santa Cruz, remains active as a performer, composer and sound artist, and is returning to the kindie scene with extra (dare we say, childlike) enthusiasm. Chris and his family (married to artist/musician/writer Jessica Hayden Molla, with daughters Rosalind and Chloe) are semi-nomadic, with a base camp in the mountains near Santa Cruz, CA.



Fingerpaint Music Web Place

Jump Up

“I liked the CD so much that I bought another copy to send to friends. Most all the songs are familiar, but they have been recast with a new sound.”
– Raymond Blume

“Molla is a talented keyboardist and sophisticated composer; an upbeat, pleasant singer; and a fine acoustic and electric guitarist. His production style pays tribute to David Grisman; the folk numbers are lively and multiply stringed, and they often include mandolin, banjo, or flute. Molla is a musician who walks his talk, spending time with his young audience on a regular basis. Perhaps someday soon a creative indie label will give this record the kind of promotion it deserves, big name or no. It’s just the kind of plain old-wonderful little kids adore.” -Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Issue No. 70

Roll Along

“I bought this CD because I am a huge Camper Van Beethoven fan. Although this CD sounds nothing like Camper Van Beethoven, it is a great CD from front to back. The simple country style arrangements work really well and Chris’s nasally twang lends itself to the style. Cat Box Song jumped off this disc as a standout to me because it sort of reminded me of the avant garde narration songs of mid period CVB. PS I don’t have any kids. I bought this for me and I’m 45 years old.” – Mark Robison

ALL MUSIC GUIDE ( REVIEW: (four and a half stars - out of five) “Former member of Camper Van Beethoven Chris Molla and a crack band of roots musicians convened for this set of rootsy adaptations and originals with kids in mind. Molla has a warm, folky voice and his songs are clever and cute, like the instructional “Chores” and “Cat Box Song,” a psychedelic ode to the responsibility of pet keeping. Woody Guthrie ‘s Dance Around” and an adaptation of Dave Alvin ‘s “Mr. Lee” retitled “The Yo-Yo Song” make for a perfect children’s introduction to Americana music. The entire record is not only bearable, but enjoyable for adults with a sense of humor and a young heart.” – Denise Sullivan

Movebaby!(digital download)

The best of Chris' music originally recorded for his early childhood and preschool classes. A happy mix of dangerously catchy sea chanteys, folk songs, rounds, African rhythms, bright guitars and jaunty accordions.


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