Adybug Music founder Patricia M. Maertens has a simple mission: marrying great music with great education. An early-childhood music educator since 2004, Maertens started her Los Angeles-based business following a two-decade professional career as a singer, songwriter and producer whose original material has been featured in films and on TV. Her own education includes study at the prestigious Dick Grove School of Music and Musicians Institute. As Ladybug's primary creative force, Maertens seeks to synthesize the wide spectrum of styles and sounds she's been exposed to throughout her life. Born in Hollywood, she grew up in the culturally mixed neighborhoods of South L.A. and Portuguese Bend; she also accompanied her El Salvadoran mother and German father on their extensive world travels. Today her taste roams freely over the boundaries of genre and origin, from Billie Holiday to the Clash, Tinariwen to Rickie Lee Jones. The Ladybug songbook-which spans six full-length CDs-reflects that variety. In addition to writing her own original songs inspired by nature and fantasy, Maertens spends much of her time researching and sourcing songs from all over the globe, be it a West Indian field recording or an Irish street chant. She composes on guitar and piano, taking special care to incorporate odd time signatures and unusual scales, then enlists her favorite musicians to play in the studio. The result is a curriculum with music that honors the intelligence of young children without alienating their parents. "My goal with Ladybug is teaching kids foundational musical skills: the ability to keep a beat and match a pitch," Maertens says. "But my dream is to inspire families to experience the great joy of exploring and discovering new music with their children. '