(This post isn’t sponsored, I was asked to listen to the album through Spotify and fell in love with it!)
I can’t believe I ever underestimated the power of music. My husband loves his music, as he’s been a musician (hobby) since he was young. He always taps along to songs (a drummer amongst many instruments), knows the words to every song ever created, and will create his own songs while doing house chores (okay, maybe that one is more me – but he’s much better at it than I am!). Needless to say, there’s a lot of music in our household.
So of course, when our son was born, he was immersed in this world of music too. He’d be surrounded by music playing almost constantly; his dad would sit him at the electric piano to encourage him to play some songs; and he would be subjected to his mum’s awful rendition of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ consistently – from the early nights where he just wouldn’t sleep (and I would literally sing this song on repeat for hours – no joke!) to now when he is just a little bit fussy. I would be surprised if he DIDN’T like music when he was older!
However, despite all these musical experiences, a part of me thought, “he won’t understand any of it for a while”. Ha! How silly of me to underestimate the amazing development of babies (as a teacher no less!). Around the time my son was 4 months old, I fell in love with the Pentatonix version of “Hallelujah” (seriously, if you haven’t heard it yet, go do it now!). I listened to it on repeat in the car for every trip we made. It obviously struck a chord with my son (ha!), as one day when he was quite grizzly in the car, Hallelujah came on and he immediately calmed down. How strange! I thought to myself, but didn’t think much more of it. Fast forward to a week down the track, and Mr. Grizzle-Pants struck again, this time during his evening feed. I giggled and thought, “wouldn’t it be funny if the song calmed him down…” so I played the song and he calmed down instantly. I couldn’t believe it – the song legitimately calmed him down.
The same has happened with my poor singing of “Twinkle Twinkle”. My son smiles every time I start to sing it, because I have sung it to him so much. Our babies, who we don’t think can comprehend much at this young age, remember and store up their positive influences of music.
The power of music
Obviously my son grew an attachment to Hallelujah because we’d listened to it repeatedly, and it was quiet soothing to listen to. Shortly after this connection occurred, I met the lovely Lydia Walker, a gorgeous musician with calming, soft tones to her voice. She asked if I’d listen to her album “Lullabies” and chat about it on the blog. Of course I jumped at the chance – who doesn’t love listening to beautiful tunes, especially when they’re aimed for your children. So I thought I’d test the true power of music with my son, and introduced him to Lydia’s “Tucked in Tight” from the Lullabies album for a week and see how he would respond.
This picture says it all, taken as soon as he heard the start of the song playing, after a week of listening to it:
Not only does the song make my son happy, but it relaxes him. If he is overtired and fussy before bedtime, refusing to take a bottle for feeding, we will play “Tucked in Tight”. He will immediately calm down, AND FEED. Of course, this is happening after he has gotten used to the song, and built a connection with it – it doesn’t happen randomly for every song he listens to.
A Review of the Lullabies Album
I won’t go through every song on the album but will highlight some of my personal favourites (and why!). This album is inspired by Lydia’s faith and beliefs, so a lot of the songs incorporate Christian themes to them. This acoustic album is short (approx. 22 minutes) but would make the perfect addition to your baby’s bed time routine, with the instrumental track at the end placed on repeat to help your bub resettle through the night.
Tucked in Tight
Our favourite song, Tucked in Tight, has a simple soft but warm melody (as you can listen to below). Played almost totally on guitar with the occasional wind chimes, this song beautifully displays Lydia’s gorgeous tones and is accompanied by lovely harmonies through the choruses. Soothing and relaxing, this makes the perfect song to get your bub ready for sleep if you’re looking for a single song for the bedtime routine.
Before you were formed
A more upbeat song, ideal as a cue for getting your bub ready for sleep time (before actually putting your baby down for sleep), Lydia’s vocals are accompanied by her guitar and gorgeous strings (have I ever mentioned to you that I LOVE violin??). It has a rhythmic feeling to it, lovely rhymes and phrasing that appeals to babies and children.
You Belong to Me
I love the words of this song – very soothing and comforting to help bub prepare for sleep time. When your child is a bit older and can understand the words, the song is a nice way of reinforcing that you will be there for them in the morning (if they’re upset/worried about sleeping). Soothing “ooooosss” help to lull bub into a more relaxed state, ready for sleep.
Sleep Baby Sleep
This song follows on nicely from You Belong to Me. With the lulling sounds from the previous song, Sleep Baby Sleep has a rhythmic up and down tune that compliments the acoustic tones of the guitar and vocals. This song has a similar feeling to most traditional nursery rhymes – in fact, very similar to “Twinkle Twinkle”, but slower. It also includes a bible verse read out by Lydia during the instrumental part of the song that encourages sleep (“sweet sleep”).
If you’re like us, we have a white noise machine that constantly plays wave sounds through the night (and every nap time) to help our son sleep. Lydia knows the power of music/noise to help bubs drift off to sleep, so has included an instrumental waves track at the end of her album that can be put on repeat to help your bub through their sleep cycles.
To read more about Lydia’s inspiration behind the Lullabies album, and to learn more about her story (as she prepares to become a first-time mum very shortly!), read my interview with her HERE, or visit her website Rustic Songbird HERE to listen to and get a copy of her album.