Lullabies are a great ritual practice. They are songs that are meant to soothe the body and soul in order to relax and rest. As a mother, I found that lullabies not only soothed my children, but they soothed me as well. Those moments where my children were calm and I was singing to them were golden. Sometimes it took some time to get to that point. My babies, my daughter and then my son, were not perfect sleepers and not always easy to get to sleep! My daughter especially, she was collicy and we spent the first 3 months learning how to sooth her.
During this time, I learned the lyrics to “Down In the Valley”, “Hush Little Baby”, and “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” I already knew “Amazing Grace” and actually, that was my husband’s go-to lullaby song to sing to Lucy when he rocked her. After having my son, Ethan, I noticed that while Lucy always calmed down while I sung “Hush Little Baby”, the song, “Down in the Valley” worked better with him. Each child truly has their own preference when it comes to music. There is no one size fits all.
Around the time Lucy was born, and she went through her crying fits, I put together a playlist of songs that I found soothing. This CD was used with both my children, especially at the end of a long day and my voice felt tired. There was a point when they were toddlers, they preferred listening to the music as they went to sleep after I read to them, said a prayer and sung a lullaby.
For toddlers, you may find that they may say, “Only Mommy” when a song a certain lullaby is sung. Also, a toddler may prefer a certain song be sung as part of a certain time of the day, such as before bed, but NOT any other time of the day. It’s a sign that the song has become personal to them and they are exerting their perference for the special time of singing and soothing.
Music Together semester collections, always offer two traditional lullabies and then several songs that can be soothing as lullabies. Just for the two traditional lullabies, alone, if a family completed all 9 semesters of Music Together classes, they would have 18 lullabies to choose from! Just learning two in one semester is a start.
Singing lullabies has long been a natural practice and ritual for parents and their infants. Whether it’s in a sweet moment during feeding or to sooth an infants’ crying, the relationship between song and voice is necessary for infants as they grow and become familiar with their new environment. Your voice as parent is primary to your child. Whether you feel you can sing or have no musical ability, your child will learn the importance of music as a part of their time with you as you participate in the act of singing.
What lullabies does your child enjoy? What song do you wish you new better? This is your challenge is to learn a few new lullabies. Music Together classes lend themselves to this practice. Baby’s classes are ongoing at the new West End location. New classes will be added this April. No matter if you have an infant, toddler, preschooler or kindergartner, consider joining a class soon! Try Out A Class
Below is the playlist and order of songs my children listed to the most each night before bed. Happy Singing!
My Children’s Playlist
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring – Baby Einstein
The Four seasons – Winter – baby Einstein
Passing afternoon – iron and wine
Musical Key – Cowboy Junkies
If you listen – Elizabeth Mitchell
Down in the valley – folksong
You can close your eyes – James Taylor
Slumber my darling – Alison Krauss
Amazing Grace – instrumental heartland, and Appalachian anthology
Kanon in D – Pachabell
Clarinet Concerto adagio – Mozart
Down a Country Lane – Copeland
Pathétique adagio – Beethoven
The Swan – Ravel
Symphony No. 9 new world – Dvorak
Waltz number 15 lullaby – Brahms – Baby Einstein