The New York Times
by Perri Klass, M.D.
When you sing a lullaby to your baby, you convey love and language and dreams of the future — and also, of course, you are trying to help your baby to a more immediate future of being asleep. Singing helps calm both the baby and the parent, experts say, and creates a bedtime ritual to signal a transition from the day’s activities.
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute created a lullaby project to help mothers bond with their babies. Tiffany Ortiz, the manager of the project, said it started in 2011 with a pilot at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where staff members noticed that some teenage parents were having trouble attaching to their children. It has expanded across New York City, with artists working with parents at different sites, including high schools, hospitals, clinics, shelters and the Rikers Island jail, and is now being replicated nationally and internationally …
On April 20, the Carnegie Hall project released “Hopes and Dreams,” a recording of 15 original lullabies written by parents in New York from 2011 to 2015, performed by a range of artists, including Joyce DiDonato, Fiona Apple, Lawrence Brownlee and Patti LuPone. The goal of the project, though, is for parents to sing themselves, Ms. Ortiz said, to “embed more singing into daily practice and into parents’ lives, shatter that notion they might not be able to sing or they’re out of tune — for a child, their voice is going to mean the most.”