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A Playlist for Family Time

“A song is a little magical charm that helps you hold onto a moment in time. It gives you a way to make a moment special, and remember it forever. A baby’s eyelid flutter, the softness of their blanket as you hold them, the way the night sky filters into the window as you rock them—all of these come back to you when you hear a lullaby you sang to them at bedtime.” —Emily Eagen

At the core of Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project is an effort to deepen the connection between parents and children through music. In line with this mission, families now have the opportunity to share in the experience of lullabies online. In partnership with Too Small to Fail—a joint initiative of The Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute that aims to empower parents to talk, read, and sing with their children—Carnegie Hall released a playlist of lullabies as part of Spotify’s new Kids and Family channel. Spotify collaborated with early childhood organizations Too Small to Fail, ZERO TO THREE, and the Bezos Family Foundation to create this channel in an attempt to better understand the role of music in children’s early brain and language development. The result is a series of family-friendly playlists and prompts for parents that encourage them to engage creatively with their young children.

At Carnegie Hall, our work with the Lullaby Project has shown us the impact that song can have on the healthy growth and development of a child. Carnegie Hall teaching artist Emily Eagen curated our playlist to encourage parents to sing and move with their children and create a deeper connection with them. In between songs, Shawana Kemp of Shine and the Moonbeams can be heard narrating and offering tips for parents and activity ideas to support children’s learning and development.

According to Eagen, “each of these songs is a lovely gem, capturing something sweet, funny, poignant, mysterious, tender, or true about what it is like to be a child going to sleep, watched over by someone who loves you. As a family, we use lullabies to relate to each other in a way that lets us linger for a moment, suddenly finding ourselves making music and playing together. As a mother, this lullaby moment is when I truly remember that parenting is so much more than just getting stuff done. I hope these songs can take you to that special, time-stopping, magical place where you can just be with your children in the moment and share a lovely song together. And don’t be surprised if a few new lullabies come up along the way!”

Listen to Carnegie Hall’s lullaby favorites.

Photography by Jennifer Taylor.

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