On September 8, 2006, we uploaded our first video to YouTube. At the time, the Super Simple Songs team was a group of educators teaching English to children in Tokyo, Japan. We had been creating songs for young learners for a couple of years, and when this little thing called YouTube came along, we thought it would be a good opportunity to communicate with teachers around the world.
We shot our fist video in a classroom at our school and demonstrated how we used “The Bath Song” in our lessons. The videos have come a looooong way since then, but we hope they’ve retained the heart and sincerity we’ve tried to put into our videos since the beginning.
For our first 4 years or so on YouTube, we were still full-time teachers making songs and videos in between classes and lesson planning. YouTube was an amazing tool to us. It allowed us to communicate with teachers and classrooms all over the world, and many of them shared their versions of our songs with us. We met Val and her preschoolers in Argentina, Sujeong and her young learners in South Korea, Mai Anh and her students in Viet Nam, Eva and her kids in Slovakia, Debbie and Justin and their classes in Japan, Lucky and Tony and their respective schools in Hong Kong, and many many more. It was so exciting, and so rewarding for us. We learned from them, and hopefully they were learning from us.
During that time, we were also fortunate to be working with great teachers at our school, Knock Knock English. Tanja and Jeremy were instrumental in helping us develop Super Simple. After making several classroom videos, we decided to play around with some other “Just For Fun” videos using puppets and simple animations. When Jeremy produced a stop-motion video for our Alphabet Song using the built-in camera on a MacBook, the reaction from our followers on YouTube was fantastic and we started thinking of ways we could do more with our channel.
By 2010, we had begun working on Super Simple full-time. As life-long teachers, leaving the classroom was a difficult transition, but it allowed us to spend more time creating songs, videos, and teaching resources we could share with teachers and parents everywhere. In September of that year, working with the extremely talented Nathan Dillow, we created a very special video to celebrate reaching 100 million views on our channel. Featuring the vocals of one our long-time students, Nagi, that video, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, touched people in a way that completely re-affirmed to us why we do what we do.
By 2012, the core team behind Super Simple had begun moving back to our respective home countries of Canada and the USA to be closer to family. We first moved Super Simple Learning to Seattle and quickly got to work on more videos and re-recording/remastering our catalog of songs with Matt Stamm as the featured vocalist. By 2013 we had started an amazing relationship with a talented team of animators in Toronto. Together, in 2015, we started a brand new production studio in Toronto, Canada called Skyship Entertainment Company. At Skyship we’re working hard on a full slate of new Super Simple Songs videos featuring 2D and 3D animation, puppetry, stop-motion, and live action, as well as a number of new shows we’re super excited about sharing with you on our new channel, Super Simple TV.
We’d like to express deep gratitude to key team members from the very start (Tanja, Jeremy, Hiroya, Mike, Eri, Sara, Seiko, Hikaru, Tomomi, Hidemi, Maki, and the staff at Knock Knock English), the students and parents at Knock Knock English, our early supporters around the world (Sujeong, Val, Lucky, Debbie, Justin, Bob, Mai Anh, Eva, Tony, Yuko, Patrick J., Catherine, Iwona, Zuzu, Shelley, and many more), Cameron and Alex at Englishbooks.jp, the English teaching community in Japan, ETJ, JALT, Oxford University Press, the great vocalists we’ve worked with (Matt, Laurie, Nagi, Shelly, Josh, Leah, Leah#2, Adam, Caitlin, and Ingrid), the musicians we’ve collaborated with (Mike, Eri, Adam), the many talented animators we’ve worked with (Nathan, Francois, Alberto, Wille, Luke) and our full team of animators, puppeteers, and designers at Skyship Entertainment who have produced the bulk of our videos for the past couple of years (you guys are amazing!). To Brett and Morghan, we can’t express how excited we are for the next 10 years.
Thank you to YouTube for providing this platform and in particular to Mai, Wynston, Caitlin, Taylor, Heather, Angela, and Malik.
We’d also like to pay respects to two early and important members of our Super Simple family, Eriko and Naoko. We will never forget you.
To everyone who has watched, liked, shared, commented on, sung and/or danced along with one of our YouTube videos, THANK YOU! We promise you we’ll continue to put our heart and soul into creating new songs and shows for families and teachers around the world.
Tune in September 13 for an exciting new chapter in the Super Simple story.
– Troy and Devon