Toni Jannotta | My Little Heart, Ruthie

by Jeff Becker

Children are our most precious and important assets for the future of any society.  Teaching them, nurturing them and most of all creating tolerance and understanding of others journey, is most likely the greatest gift any parent can pass onto their offspring.  Self-confidence is something that can be bestowed to a child through their family environment and friendships.  So, what happens when a child is less fortunate and grows up in a setting of criticism, ridicule and even bullying outside or in the home. Creating a spiraling feeling of bleakness.

Thankfully –  vocalist, composer and now author Toni Jannotta in her own self-realized journey has put together an epic project that not only includes a story that celebrates the beauty of being accepted by other like-minded chums, but is set to a beautiful soundtrack companion piece, with beautiful illustrations by Jennifer Mones.

Isolation and abuse can be one of the most helpless feelings a human can experience.  Through, My Little Heart, Ruthie Jannotta narrates a story of Ruthie the heart, who feels abandoned by life’s trials and tribulations, locked away in a feeling of being trapped and frozen in emotion. It is only with the help of her caring and thoughtful friend Clyde, that Ruthie begins to see herself through the eyes of her friend and is set onto the road of self-freedom and healing through the outpouring and acceptance of her dear friend.

Jannotta has masterfully composed a musical suite and taken on the role of the impassioned narrator.  It is her complete understanding of the character and emotional heart that shines thorough eloquently in the light of the story.  Whether a child is going through these feelings or might be privy to a friend’s experience later in life.  My Little Heart, Ruthie is a memorable children’s story that through music and story teaches children about compassion and the truth of real friendship and how as humans our connection can truly be positive in this light.

Purposefully it was Jannotta’s hope to reach all survivors of emotional abuse, young and old, with the message of hope and the healing that comes through knowing the abuse was never their fault.  What makes this project even more special is alone the story is momentous, but paired with the score by Janotta, the story is enhanced and an in-depth experience ensues.  Masterful performances are given by Carol Robbins on harp, Jon Crosse on trumpet, Granville “Danny” Young on acoustic bass, Paul Tavenner, drums and Toni Jannotta on piano and in the narration role.  What a glimmering gift for your child to experience, and one I am certain will touch the sentiment in you at the same time.