This blog post is sponsored by Universal Music Group and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Daniel and I have musical backgrounds. I grew up singing, and he played the piano. As I got older I joined the school choir, competed, and even had a job as a singing hostess. Daniel tinkered with more instruments, accompanied students, and now plays for his little Lila Sophia almost daily – if not the piano, then the guitar, or harmonica, or mandolin. Basically there is a lot of music in this household. Did you know that? I feel like it rarely comes up. 🙂
As you can tell by the persistent music, Lila is a huge fan. She dances, requests “mas!” (more) over and over, louder and louder, until I start singing her favorite dinosaur song, or nursery rhyme again. You can’t help but comply when she starts stomping, clapping, waving her hands, shouting “yay!” – I mean she’s sort of my favorite audience.
Before Lila, I had become so busy with everything else in life, singing wasn’t that important anymore. Every once in a while in the car…but that’s about it. Her love of life and music is so inspiring, that even when she was a wee little one, I’d sing her to sleep, and only after I caught Daniel doing it. She relaxed and seemed so happy. There’s just something about rocking your babe while singing/humming that makes you feel connected forever, a sensation I never would have experienced before becoming a mother. Studies have even shown that it strengthens the bonds between parents and their kiddos. We’re all just going to be BFFs at this rate. 🙂
When I was invited to review the latest Lullaby Project album, Hopes & Dreams, I was pretty excited. It’s a part of my life I don’t discuss much but, as you can see, is really prominent in our home. The album is a Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute program. New and expectant mothers in hospitals, homeless shelters, schools, and correctional facilities are able to write a song to their baby and are then paired with a professional, like Fiona Apple, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Natalie Merchant, Rosanne Cash, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, to record it. How cool is that?? Their new album just came out on April 20th, too. The proceeds help sustain the Lullaby Project and other Carnegie Hall education and social programs.
Lila Sophia’s bedtime is such a special time in our home. While it comes too soon, it’s one of my favorite parts of our routines, no matter where we are. I traveled between Houston and Miami recently with Lila and though her sleeping area changed frequently, the routine stayed the same. A combination of the Hopes & Dreams album and rocking help her into a gentle sleep that lasts all night. I play it on my phone nearby as I sit or stand (depending on how sleepy she is) while swaying my darling little babe to sleep. The melodies are even, soothing, and it’s easy to sing along with sweet and relatable lyrics. The artists selected for the album have the most perfect bedtime voices. Lila is out like a light in no time. And if she isn’t too sleepy, for one reason or another, the music gets her to stop fidgeting and we lay in peace together until she finally succumbs. I cherish every single one of our bedtime cuddles before laying her down in her crib.
There are a variety of tracks for any listener. I have a special place in my heart for Natalie Merchant and Fiona Apple because their voices remind me of growing up, while the Spanish piece sung by Gilberto Santa Rosa speaks to my roots. One of my favorite tracks is Peace by Joyce DiDonato. It’s more operatic, like my musical start. The French track, Esso Esso by Angelique Kidjo, is just a lot of fun to sway to.
If you are a mom, or know a new or expectant mother, be sure to get a copy of the Hopes & Dreams Lullaby Project album – just in time for Mother’s Day!
For more information about the Lullaby Project – click here.