Originating in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, The Lullaby Project pairs pregnant women and new mothers and fathers with professional artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child.
Some of the earliest sounds from our childhood have a profound impact on the rest of our lives. Through the Lullaby Project, families are invited to create and sing personal lullabies for their babies with the help of professional musicians. Creating, singing, and sharing lullabies promotes maternal health, child development, and parent-child attachment.
In 2019, the University of Colorado Boulder became a national partner for the Lullaby Project. Building upon Carnegie Hall’s innovative program, the Colorado Lullaby Project brings together individuals that identify as parents, or new parent, with College of Music student musicians to strengthen community through song. Our program integrates teaching artistry into the core of the College of Music’s Entrepreneurship Center for Music. With the Renée Crown Wellness Institute, it will become a flagship interdisciplinary research-practice partnership and a national model for community-engaged work. Student musicians train with master teaching artists affiliated with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, and arts wellness leaders to implement the Lullaby Project here at CU. Concurrently the project works with student researchers to evaluate the impact of music and mental health programming. The new parents, families, and medical professionals with Boulder Community Health Foundation/Foothills Hospital (BCH) and the Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO) are also integral to the program.
Few mental health programs target social belonging, especially with the use of music among women during early parenting. The Colorado Maternal and Child Health Program reported that nearly 1 in 10 women who had a recent live birth between 2012 and 2014 reported postpartum depressive symptoms. That estimate likely underreports the true total. Given the demands of parenthood, there is a need for mental wellness programs that can overcome logistical and financial barriers (O'Mahen & Flynn, 2008). The Lullaby Project can provide an accessible intervention to support parental wellness and healthy child development.
The Colorado Lullaby Project is a breakthrough initiative that strives to become a transformative model for interdisciplinary collaboration with arts and culture at the core.