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Lady Lullaby Blog

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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Share the Resounding Joy

After the horror of last week’s event, an event that resonated with every parent and grandparent in the country, I can only add to all that has been said my sincere condolences. And that there must be action taken to change things on all level--from political to a deeper healing of the stresses that led to this tragedy.

The help that I can offer is to encourage you to lessen the stress in your lives and the lives of your children through music. There is proof that this is an effective tool for integrating the brain and balancing the emotions.

This past week I had the chance to go to a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation, which supports the implementation of Transcendental Meditation in schools, to help reduce stress. Another name for reducing stress is the creation of joy, and that was the experience of everyone who was at this event.

The concert was presented by some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time---a time that spans the generations, from Herbie Hancock (age 72) and Wayne Shorter (79 years old) to the young bass-player-vocalist sensation Esperanza Spalding, and the young singer Corrine Ray Bailey. This group was communicating seamlessly in the timeless language of music.

The joy in all their faces was contagious, and all the 1000 people in the audience were infected with this joyfulness.  We all walked out caught up in the joy of the music, feeling uplifted and happy. Music is that powerful.

I talked with Herbie Hancock after the concert, and he said he’d been playing music since he was seven. It was in his blood, he said, and the proof of his life-long devotion to his craft was obvious in the joy he felt and shared.

My point? Share the music, spread the joy. Giving your child the ability to play an instrument and sing is like giving them a life-long gift of creating joy for themselves and others. Due to budget cuts to the arts, our schools do not offer enough music instruction, and our happiness factor (as well as our culture in the future) will suffer for it. So it’s up to us, individual families, to make sure that our children experience music in their lives.

Wynton Marsalis introduced the evening, which was held at his home venue of Lincoln Center Jazz. He has been a tireless advocate for bringing music to children and a teacher and spokesman for music education. He knows that music has the power to teach kids lessons that go far beyond simple music skills---self confidence, increased academic abilities, social skills---and yes, to give joy to the world.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Gift that makes your family healthy (maybe wealthy) and Wise

Tis the season for buying stuff.

Even if we swear that we’re not going to give in to commercialism, or don’t have the funds to buy gifts, it’s still in our awareness at this time of year---how could it not be, with catalogs crowding the mailbox and ads crowding our brains?

There is one gift, though, that is worth giving and it fits all budgets: Give the gift of music. Music comes in all sizes and shapes and is appropriate for all ages.

For new babies, or those on the way, give lullabies.Lullabies soothe the savage beast and the crying baby.Premature babies are routinely treated with music, as it has been found to help normalize physical functioning. Studies show that even before birth, babies respond to music, as hearing is the first sense to be developed. This is where the healthy part come in!
Suggestion: “Midnight Lullaby”

For toddlers, a weekly music class can literally improve the rest of their lives. Research shows that learning simple musical skills develops the pathways in the brain so that all future learning becomes easier.

This applies to adults too—learning to play a musical instrument is good for our brains at any age, and (this is where the wealthy part comes in) can increase concentration and focus in anything we do. For inspiration, see this article about someone who learned to play cello later in life:

And take your children to a variety of the many freeconcerts---for children and for adults-- that are offered in your community at this time of year. If they get bored or start to complain loudly, you can leave, but they’ll hear some music and get the message that this is a good and important part of life.

And that is a true gift. That’s where the wisdom part comes in.

Enjoy the holiday season, and if you find that you’re getting get stressed out from doing too much--stop for just a minute, take a deep breath, and put on some soothing music. I promise it will help.

Sweet Dreams,