Healing Through Music: Spotlight and Giveaway on Darling Lullabies

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Little Darling was born from the belief that singing has the power to heal and to help create harmony in our lives. In recent years, pediatric research has shown clinical evidence supporting the healing power of song, showing that soft, soothing singing without instrumentation, combined with the calming sounds of breath and natural silence, can reduce children’s heart rates, improve sleep and perk up feeding pattern. Inspired by science, Little Darling is an organization dedicated to creating accessible therapeutic singing as a way to restore balance, prevent pain, and enhance feelings of comfort and safety.

One of the most accessible ways to replicate that intimate and affectionate environment of being sung to, is through a cappella lullaby recordings. Little Darling produced their first album, Darling Lullabies, in 2014. A second album, Canciones De Cuna, featuring all Spanish songs from over 4+ countries will be released in the Spring of 2017.

You can purchase and download MPS’s of Darling Lullabies through Amazon and  Itunes. The USB Albums can be purchased on Etsy, and a Darling Lullabies station is also available on Pandora.

Learn more about  Little Darling on the website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram

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Lisa Darling has been singing her way through life since she was a little girl. Some of her fondest memories include singing with her nana, granddad, mom and sister to old lullabies, show tunes and war songs, many of which she still knows by heart and continue to provide a great deal of comfort to this day. Her passion for singing and sharing her songs of kin grew after uncovering clinical evidence in the U.S. and abroad showing medicinal benefits from the use of lullabies in Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units. Being in the medical sales industry for several years and working alongside Child Life Specialists around the country, Lisa realized the relevancy of this data and became inspired to help children heal through singing in her own way. As her enthusiasm for this work grew, so did her knowledge and understanding of just how influential music’s vibrations are to fostering healing, improving balance and promoting overall wellness in our daily lives. Little Darling was created to combine her passion for therapeutic singing and her drive to support and advocate for improving wellness through singing. Lisa now offers therapeutic singing to palliative care patients as well as adults with special needs. She currently reside in Brooklyn, New York.

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We will be giving away 5 albums to some lucky winners!
Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend.

3. Facebook: Follow Little Darling Music 123 and leave a comment about the giveaway.

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and tag a friend in the post

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 3/15/17

Winners

Songs of Love: The Medicine of Music: Spotlight and Giveaway

We know that music can be therapeutic, especially when a song is personalized. I am excited to kick off celebrating child life month with our featured post on The Songs of Love Foundation.

The Songs of Love Foundation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates uplifting, personalized songs for children and teens struggling with a life-threatening illness or lifetime disability, free of charge. Each CD is professionally produced with lyrics containing the child’s name and references to all of his or her favorite activities, things, people, and pets. Songs are written and performed in the musical style that the child likes best (pop, r&b, rap, rock, alternative, etc.), by a variety of talented professionals. The organization is named after a song called “Songs of Love” that Julio Beltzer (Songs of Love founder John Beltzer’s twin brother) wrote just 2 months before he passed away on April 12, 1984.

As each child is unique, so is every “song of love” composition. Since 1996 the Songs of Love Foundation has reached out to over 27,000 children in over 500 hospitals and health care facilities in all 50 states. The songs have often been played to alleviate pain and trauma during painful and scary hospital treatments.  The song recipients have played their “songs of love” in all kinds of situations and settings such as car trips to the hospital, show and tell at school, for family and friends in person or on the phone, and even for the doctors and nurses.

Siri Bream, a certified Child Life Specialist from the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, VA, states, “Songs of Love is such an invaluable gift for our children and families that counteracts and comforts any of the fear, anger or grief that an illness or injury brings. The healing power of music is huge, but the power of feeling validated, of being honored, of being important enough to have a song that is entirely all about YOU, gives our patients a sense of belonging in this world, a sense of hope, a renewed purpose and determination to LIVE”.

To request a song for a child, click here. Be sure to learn more about this amazing program at SongsOfLove.org or follow them on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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We will be giving away a Songs of Love t-shirt to one lucky winner! Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, leave a comment and tag a friend on the post.

3. Facebook: Follow Songs of Love, leave a comment about the #ChildLifeGiveaway.

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @SongsofLove.

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and Tag a friend in the post.

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 3/4/17

4 Musical Instruments You and Your Child Can Make at Home

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Guest Blogger, Dixie Somers

Early childhood is a beautiful time of learning, play and discovery, and music has a vital role in increasing your child’s ability to move, learn, and process information. Incorporating music into your child’s playtime has long lasting benefits, and what better way than to have your children create musical instruments with their own hands? Below are a few instruments you and your child can make and play together.

 

Homemade Harmonica

To create these fun instruments you will need:

  • 2 Popsicle sticks (the width of tongue depressors),
  • 3 rubber bands (one small and two large)
  • 1 plastic straw
  • Scissors
  • Paint & paint brushes, colored pencils, markers, or other various colors

 

Before assembly: Have your child decorate the Popsicle stick however they like. If they use paint, allow the Popsicle sticks to completely dry before using them. While the Popsicle sticks are drying, cut two strips of construction paper (1 inch wide and 5 inches long) and place them aside. Cut two 1.5 inch pieces of straw.

Assembly: Cut two 1-inch pieces of straw, and place them aside. Then wrap the large rubber band length wise around one of the Popsicle sticks. Place the two cut pieces of straw on the two ends of the Popsicle stick, leaving some space open. Lay the other Popsicle stick on top, and use the two small rubber bands on each end to secure the entire harmonica together! The great thing about this instrument is not only creating it, but teaching your children to play it and seeing the sense of accomplishment they feel because of it.

 

Pan Flute Made from Straws

To create your pan flute you will need:

  • 10 straws in a bunch of colors
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors

Assembly: Cut your first straw at 20cm. Then cut your 2nd straw at 18cm, and repeat with each straw 2 cm shorter than the previous one until the last straw is 2 centimeters long. Once it is complete, tape all of the straws together in a flat line and enjoy! The exciting part about this instrument is allowing your child to create their own music and flex their creative muscles.

 

Rain Sticks

To create your own rain sticks, you will need:

  • A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small dried beans (like lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta.
  • Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers

Assembly: Trace the ends of your paper towel roll on your brown or construction paper, and create little spokes around your circle. Create two of these circles. Cut along the spokes of one of those circles and glue the cap and spokes onto one end of your tube. Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is approximately 1.5 times the length of your paper towel roll. Crunch that foil into two long skinny pieces, and coil each piece like a spring, before placing them into the open end of your tube. Pour your beans, popcorn and pasta into the tube about 1/3rd of the way. Once everything is inside the tube, cut and glue the other circle with spokes to the other end of the tube to seal it. Then have your child decorate the tube with their colored pencils and markers. It is so much fun to create different sounds with different combinations of foil and beans/seeds. Experiment to see what sounds you can create together!

 

The Water Xylophone

For this water xylophone you will need:

  • 7 empty and clean Snapple bottles (or other glass bottles that are all equal in size and make. e.g. Coca Cola bottles, mason jars, etc.)
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Wooden spoons and metal butter knives

Assembly: This is perhaps the simplest one, and quite fun to experiment with. Fill each Snapple bottle with different amounts of water. Line them up from the most water to the least, and have your child color the water in each jar a different color. Then take your wooden spoons and butter knives in each hand, and strike away! Other than it being fun and a freeform instrument, allowing your child to experiment with the different notes and how they correlate with the volume of water teaches your child how to utilize this instrument to test their logical and mathematical intelligence.

Regardless of which instrument you choose to experiment with, these projects above are designed for you and your child to have fun as you embark on a journey of discovery though music. You might consider speaking to someone with an online masters in music education for deeper information about how music can benefit your child mentally, but these activities can also just increase your bond and open both of your worlds up to a whole new way to learn and play!