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Why Lullaby

Posted on August 10th, 2014 by | 2 views

When I was a little girl I did not like going to bed. It was challenging to stop my mind from racing and calm myself down enough to fall asleep.  My parents would get frustrated with my “night owl” tendency. No one was getting the rest they needed; that is, until my parents and my grandmother started singing to me at night.  They stopped saying, “It’s time for bed”. They changed their tune and said, “It’s time for a quiet song. Rest your eyes” instead. I settled into my bed and listened to those beautiful voices as they lulled me to sleep. Musical memories are strong. I can still remember the songs they sang and feel the calm those lullabies brought me; soft voices, warmth, love, security, and finally a good night’s rest for everyone.

Lullabies are more than songs you sing to your children and grandchildren before they fall asleep.  Establishing a ritual of a nightly lullaby is powerful. It is also a wonderful way to bring even the busiest day to a close peacefully with love and tenderness. The quality of your voice and your singing talents is not important. Regardless of your musical abilities your voice is your child’s favorite and most recognizable voice.  In addition, there have been many studies done on how music can reduce the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, in our bodies and the music itself has a calming distressing effect.

Lullabies can strengthen the bond between parents and children.  Creating and nurturing that bond cannot be over-emphasized.  Lullabies can calm and sooth a tired or fussy child. Holding your child close and softly singing to them can help them feel secure and relaxed enough to fall asleep.  If you pay attention to your child’s sleep cues (yawning, rubbing eyes, change in their energy levels etc&hellipWink you can help them transition to a calm restful place so they can fall asleep. Singing close to their ears and head may help filter other sounds and noises that can otherwise distract your child from his rest time. You may notice that lullabies may not only sooth your child but they may be calming and comforting to you too!

Lullabies can expose your child to another level of speech and language. By singing to them you are also stimulating their listening skills and their language development.  Sometime we rock are children in our arms or stroke their body rhythmically so when you sing to your child you are providing a movement and rhythm experience as well.  You can also personalize any song by singing your child’s name.

In our Songbirds Music classes we have a ritual of singing a lullaby or quiet song together at the end of class.  Many of the children anticipate the start of the quiet song and often settle into a quiet spot by lying down on the floor, cuddling with a grownup or rocking to the music. I tell my families in class that I do not need to hear them sing but that it is important their child hears them sing. This is a song and a special moment for them and with them.

 Lullabies don’t cost a thing but they can create a priceless experience for you and our child.  By establishing this nightly routine you are strengthening the attachment between you and your child while creating everlasting musical memories and you get a good night’s rest out of it too!

I sing to my daughters (ages 3 and 8) every night.  I’ve noticed that my 3 year old rests soundly shortly after I am done singing. Sometimes after I leave the room, she sings to herself or her stuffed animals in bed before falling asleep.  My eight year old and I sometime sing together. Other nights, lullaby time turns into a spontaneous conversation with my daughter where she feels calm and safe and she confides and shares her thoughts with me.  I love our nightly ritual. That’s why I lullaby. Sweet dreams.

Diana Davidson, a life-long singer and dancer, is owner and teaching director of Songbirds Music. She holds a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in Curriculum and Instructional Design and a B.A from the University of California, Los Angeles in World Arts and Cultures. Diana served as a bilingual and Spanish Immersion elementary school teacher for 10 years in San Diego and Arlington, VA. She has many years of experience working with children ages 0-10 in areas of art, music, fitness,and dance. Diana successfully completed the Music Together® Teaching Workshop developed by the Center for Music and Young Children, Princeton, New Jersey in Alexandria, Virginia in 2007. Diana has been the teaching director of Songbirds Music since February 2008. She is a member of the National Association of Education for Young Children and the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. Diana is also the proud mom of two singing dancing daughters (ages 8 and 3). www.songbirdsmusic.com

 

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