Last week I gathered together the musicians that will be involved in my Mums and under 2's songwriting project coming up this year, and we had some amazing training from Zoe Palmer... I was really inspired by some of the research that she brought along, around how music and singing fosters the very first intimate relationship that you experience as a person – with your mama!
Mama's Voice is the ONE
It's actually pretty incredible. As you'll know, your baby is listening to Mama's voice whilst in the womb, and in some studies, babies have shown reactions to her voice at 26 weeks!!? Her voice is the most familiar, and babies will equate it to love and nurture, and safety waaayy before they can understand words.
Yeah but how is that about singing?
Even the way that we speak to babies is musical, and we're primed to do that, without even thinking! So 'baby-talk' is actually very scientific, though we barely even realise we're doing it. When I was away with work recently, and on a tour bus a lot – I'd Skype Rob and Oti on the go, and everyone would just turn and stare (then mercilessly take the mick) as I instantly went wide-eyed and animated, with huge high's and lows in my voice – 'HI BUBBA! It's MUMMY!!! I MISS YOOU' you get the idea... That's a kind of singing, with just as much gesture, pitch and expression as a classic Lloyd-Webber.
We automatically match how our baby receives love with our voices, and it's not only one-sided – they respond with sounds too, it becomes a duet. If this attunement is missing, as can be the case with post-natal depression (PND), this can affect attachment, and then singing REALLY comes into it's own – more on that another time!
The research is compelling, and there's loads of it.
We decided that it was important to try and communicate the message to mother's coming into the project, without being too didactic – that it's their voices that their babies want to hear! Not ours... It's the the parent's voice that is unique and magical, and equals love and safety for the child. Even if the thinks she's tone deaf, it matters not one JOT to that child!
To try and convey the message, I'm writing a new song that we'll use on the project every week. No pressure then. I'll share it with you in a jiffy, when I've written it!!
Read more here!