Early Childhood Programs
Reach Hundreds of
Families this Season in
New York City,
Across the Country
and the World
The Lullaby Project,
Which Offers New and Expectant
Parents the Chance to Write
Personal Lullabies for their Babies in
Collaboration with Professional Artists,
Celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary
Sing with Carnegie Hall
Video Series Returns for Season Two,
Offering Free Interactive Sing-Alongs for Families and Young Children
Big Note, Little Note Continues this Season in
Partnership with Harlem Children’s Zone
(NEW YORK, NY; February 22, 2022)—Throughout this season, hundreds of families and children have opportunities for free musical learning, play, discovery, and connection through Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute’s (WMI) wide range of early childhood programs.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this season, the Lullaby Project pairs new and expectant parents and caregivers 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. Over the past 10 years, the Lullaby Project has experienced tremendous growth. The first Lullaby Project took place at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx in December 2011, and since then more than 2,800 families have written original songs for their children, hundreds of which are available for listening and sharing on Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Soundcloud page, which currently has nearly 89,000 listens in more than 50 countries. Partners in New York City, nationally, and across the globe serve nearly 600 families annually. Click here to watch as parents reflect on the impact of the Lullaby Project.
“The footprint of the Lullaby Project has expanded exponentially over the past 10 years, reaching more families each year due to the deep community partnerships that we’ve established across New York City, the United States, and the globe,” said Tiffany Ortiz, Director, Early Childhood Programs for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. “The power of lullabies resonates broadly—we have seen how writing a lullaby connects parent and child, promotes early childhood development, empowers parents to be sensitive and creative caregivers, and much more. It has been meaningful to watch the project blossom from its inaugural pilot in New York City to being adapted for communities around the world.”
Through the Lullaby Project, parents are offered a creative opportunity to communicate feelings, hopes, and dreams for their child, working side by side with professional musicians to write lyrics and music. Lullabies have been written in more than 20 different languages and a wide range of musical styles, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of families that participate in the program. At the end of the songwriting process, each parent receives a recording of their lullaby to listen to and sing with their baby to further support parent-child bonding and early childhood development.
In New York City, the project reaches approximately 250 families this year through digital residencies—due to the ongoing COVID pandemic—through partnerships with several city agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, CUNY, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The project also reaches families annually in homeless shelters, high schools, correctional facilities, and other community centers. From September to June, Carnegie Hall teaching artists work with community sites over Zoom to write and sing personal lullabies with participants. Carnegie Hall also provides free resources and materials throughout the season to partners to inspire musical learning in their communities. Throughout the year, approximately 20 select lullabies from various New York City sites are professionally recorded by musicians and parents.
Select lullabies are also performed live each year as part of the Lullaby Project’s Celebration Concert. On Friday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m., parents, musicians, and community partners will celebrate original songs created as part of the project. The concert will be available for audiences to livestream on Carnegie Hall’s Facebook and YouTube channel.
Extending across the country and through international programs, the Lullaby Project enables nearly 50 partner organizations (26 across the US and 22 abroad) to support hundreds of families in their own communities. Partners support the creation of new lullabies in a variety of models, adapting the program to best meet the needs of their community and families. Click here for a current list of Lullaby Project partners across the US, ranging from Washington and Texas to Pennsylvania and Vermont, as well as international partners in Canada, Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Oceania. The annual Lullaby Project international convening took place earlier this season on January 13-14, providing professional development sessions for new and prospective partners led by expert teaching artists, consultants, and researchers.
Since the start of the pandemic, Lullaby Project professional artists have been connecting directly with families across the United States to write personal lullabies in free, one-on-one online sessions, which parents and caregivers have been able to sign up for on Carnegie Hall’s website.
In 2018, Decca Gold (Universal Music Group) released, Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project, an album that features original lullabies written by workshop participants and performed by major artists, including Fiona Apple, the Brentano String Quartet, Lawrence Brownlee, Rosanne Cash, Joyce DiDonato, Janice Freeman, Rhiannon Giddens, Angélique Kidjo, Patti LuPone, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Pretty Yende, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The recording was produced by Glen Roven, Ira Yuspeh, and Mitch Yuspeh. Proceeds from the album benefit the original songwriters and support the Lullaby Project.
Sing with Carnegie Hall Video Series for Families Returns for Second Season
Sing with Carnegie Hall—the weekly interactive free online video series for families and young children—kicked off its second season on Saturday, February 12. Sing-along videos cover a range of imaginative topics including nature, community, family, and dreams to encourage connection, well-being, and creativity for families with little ones (ages 3-6) at home. Each video is hosted by Carnegie Hall teaching artist Emily Eagen and features special guests—including Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Clay Ross and Grammy Award-nominated singer Eleni Arapoglou—leading families in original and beloved songs from around the globe. Through March 12, videos premiere each Saturday on the Hall’s Facebook and YouTube page channels and following are available for on-demand viewing on the Hall’s website at carnegiehall.org/sing.
Sat, February 12 at 10 a.m. (ET):
Dream featuring Soul Science Lab
Sat, February 19 at 10 a.m. (ET):
Nature featuring Eleni Arapoglou
Sat, February 26 at 10 a.m. (ET):
Our Roots featuring Yasser Tejeda
Sat, March 5 at 10 a.m. (ET):
Community featuring Martha Redbone
Sat, March 12 at 10 a.m. (ET):
Family featuring Clay Ross
Sing with Carnegie Hall returns after a successful first season in February 2021 that featured six videos that inspired kids to discover new music and move and sing to classic playtime songs. All of the episodes from the premiere run are available to stream for free on Carnegie Hall’s website.
Big Note, Little Note: An Early Childhood Program for Caregivers with Infants
Big Note, Little Note, a 10-week music class for New York City families, offers a range of experiences for families and caregivers to engage with their babies through musical play, singing, instrument exploration, and more. The program, offered at no cost, is centered around community, and supports family well-being, early childhood development, and parent-child connection. Big Note, Little Note piloted in the Hall’s 2020-2021 season and has since offered three workshop rounds each season. The next set of classes for caregivers and infants begins in mid-March, in partnership with Harlem Children’s Zone. A selection of short videos and an accompanying “Music Moments” activities series is available for parents everywhere on the Big Note, Little Note webpage, each dedicated to a specific early childhood topic such as movement, brain building, language, play, soothing exercises, rhythm, and more. Additionally, a playlist with original songs inspired by the themes of the class is available on SoundCloud.
“In April 2021 while on maternity leave, I enrolled in the Big Note, Little Note online music class with my three-month-old son, Jacob ... It was something that helped with [our] bonding and [his] development … As a new mom, I realized that everything became a song—even something as simple as changing a diaper. Jacob’s face would light up with laughter when I sang or played music.”—Stacyann (Big Note, Little Note participant)
Over the past two years, Carnegie Hall has significantly expanded its free digital offerings for families, collated in a family resource page, which is filled with fun activities that promote musical learning and play with children. Favorite activities include a video for parents on singing a simple lullaby; an animated video series featuring music from Camille’s Rainbow, a new early childhood performance for babies; tips on writing and singing your own lullaby; a playlist featuring a collection of Lullaby Project favorite songs for singing with your baby; interactive games; and coloring books that help children learn about musical instruments and icons, such as Duke Ellington.
For the full list of WMI family resources, please visit: carnegiehall.org/FamilyResources
To better understand the effect of music in early childhood development, Carnegie Hall has commissioned research papers from Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf, an expert in the field. The first, titled Why Making Music Matters: Singing, Playing, Moving, and Sharing in the Early Years, points to several key reasons why investing in children early and often is critical to healthy development and a successful future—and demonstrates that music can play a role in everyday interactions that support our next generation. Lullaby: Being Together, Being Well, takes a closer look at how and why lullabies make a difference. The research highlights how the Lullaby Project not only helps families come together and imagine a positive future for children, but how, in some cases, writing a lullaby can support a much longer process of connecting and communicating, resonating with parents, grandparents, musicians, staff, and community members. Inspired by the work of Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project, the Bernard van Leer Foundation commissioned WolfBrown to write a research paper, Making a Joyful Noise: The Potential Role of Music Making in the Well-Being of Young Families, which explores the Lullaby Project alongside early childhood programming from around the world.
About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall’s mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, WMI’s programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. More than 800,000 people each year engage in WMI’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. This includes more than half a million students and teachers worldwide who participate in WMI’s Link Up music education program for students in grades 3 through 5, made possible through Carnegie Hall partnerships with more than 110 orchestras in the US, as well as internationally in New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, and Spain.
For more information, please visit: carnegiehall.org/Education
Lead support for Lullaby Project is provided by Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari, The ELMA Music Foundation (U.S.), William Penn Foundation, and an anonymous donor.
Major funding is provided by Ameriprise Financial, Ardian US Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
Additional support has been provided by JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation and Mary Anne Huntsman Morgan and The Huntsman Foundation.
Public support has been provided by the NYC Health+Hospitals Arts in Medicine Department, with support from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Additional support is provided by the Manhattan Borough President and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The Weill Music Institute's programs are made available to a nationwide audience, in part, by an endowment grant from the Citi Foundation.
Lead funding is provided by The ELMA Music Foundation (U.S.) and an anonymous donor through support for Early Childhood Programs.
Lullaby Project: Jennifer Taylor
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