Since the dawn of time, parents have tried pretty much everything they can to get their babies to sleep. The chances are you've sung a song or two to your little cherub - maybe you even remember the one that mom used to sing to you. Lullabies are magical things that often remind us of what it was like to be an infant with no responsibilities, safe in the care of our parents. The purpose of a night-time tune might be to send kids off to sleep easily, but as it turns out, the benefits can go beyond a full 8 hours.
At the most recent Lullaby Celebration Concert, we celebrated lullabies written by mothers from across the country. The Lullaby Project invites pregnant women, new mothers, and families to work with professional artists to write a personal lullaby for their babies. #CarnegieHall #LullabyProject 📷: @JenniferTaylorPhotography
Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute created the Lullaby Project in 2011 with the aim to help parents bond with their little ones. According to Tiffany Ortiz, the manager of the project, it started out with a trial at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx when eagle-eyed staff members noticed that teenage parents were having a hard time bonding with their kids. After the initial pilot was successful, the project broadened its reaches across New York City. Parents could benefit from the program at multiple sites, from high schools to homeless centers, and even jail. The idea has now been taken up across America and the world.
It's not just about a rendition of Lullaby Baby though. The parents are paired up with musicians who help them draft out a letter centered around the dreams they have for their child. From this, lyrics are born, and eventually, melody. Parents are included in everything from the song writing process to personalize exactly how they want it to sound. According to parents and doctors alike, the benefits from singing to your child are enormous, creating a safe, creative, and loving space for the parent-baby bond to grow.
Holding your child, making eye contact, and rocking them so they get a sense of rhythm and movement are also key parts of the process, according to one doctor. Most importantly, it's about having a sound connection.
What's your favorite lullaby? Let us know in the comments!