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Lady Lullaby Blog

Lullabies for babies, grown-ups and everyone in between!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A House of Music

Last week I met a young woman who grew up in a house that has a drum kit in the living room. It also has a keyboard in the living room. And a piano. And three guitars and a banjo.

Guess what she plays? All of them, constantly and enthusiastically. She and her musical sister have started an all-volunteer run music venue — The Beauty Shop — in our hometown, a place where any young musician can come and play, collaborate, take lessons, hang out, and enjoy easy access to the creative process.

This is a picture of my new living room. Your job is to imagine the grand piano in it, which, when I find the right one, will take up the whole thing.

Though my friends raise their eyebrows at this plan, it feels right to me because, as a child, I thought that having a piano in the dining room instead of a dining room table was perfectly normal. After all, we can (and do) eat anywhere but you can’t stick a grand piano just anywhere.

What does this have to do with you and your babies?

Access. Priorities. Access. Encouragement. Access.

Even if you don’t play an instrument yourself, I encourage you to have instruments around — real instruments or toy instruments — for your child to hear, touch, play, enjoy. Have something right there, in the way, that can create magical sounds when touched, struck, or plucked.

The brain loves to hear music, and grows stronger from it, but it loves making music even more. When engaged in the process of creating music, our brains comes the closest to what scientists call “whole brain functioning” — many parts of the brain talking to each other in the same language. And this is a very good thing.

It doesn’t have to be a Steinway. It just has to provide access to making sounds, and eventually those sounds will — I promise — turn into music.

Sweet Dreams,

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