Transforming Communities

Lullaby Project

A creative health programme for caregivers and their babies

The Lullaby Project pairs musicians with new mothers and families to write a personal lullaby for their baby.

Informed by ten years of research and based on a model established by Carnegie Hall in New York, Lullaby Project supports maternal mental health, early childhood development and family wellbeing.

Live Music Now’s Lullaby Projects are delivered with NHS health and community partners:

Cheshire & Merseyside Women’s Health and Maternity Network

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Flying Start
Swansea Bay University Health Board
Isle of Anglesey County Council
Awen Cultural Trust
SPLICE Child & Family Project, Bridgend

Live Music Now North West's Lulllaby project in Toxteth, Liverpool, working with families from the Sudanese community in partnership with Improving Me - the Cheshire and Merseyside NHS Women's Health and Maternity Network.
Lullaby participants Erin Acteson, Jordan Davies and daughter Avaleigh with musician Lowri Thomas, Port Talbot Lullaby Project, Spring 2022. More here:
During Lullaby, the musician gets to know the family caregiver and invites them to write a letter to their baby expressing personal hopes and dreams for the child.
The caregiver is encouraged to think about their own musical history, then works with the musician to pull out key phrases and words to form lyrics, speaking the words out loud, thinking about emphasis, rhythm and melody.
Using that groundwork, the musician will work to develop melodies and harmonies until the caregiver feels happy with the song, at which point the musician will arrange the piece, record it and share it with the caregiver as their own unique lullaby for their baby. The process is caregiver-focussed, with the musician acting as a facilitator of the caregiver’s musical creativity.

Musicians receive training by a Teaching Artist from Carnegie Hall to explore the process and to pass on learnings and skills from previous experience. 

This work is part of Live Music Now’s growing social prescribing programme, using creative health interventions to support children, adults and families facing challenging circumstances and reduce health inequalities.

Further objectives for the project are:

Being Well:

More parents experience a growing sense of their own agency, creativity, well-being, self-confidence and capacity to be loving, sensitive and responsive care givers [Wolf Brown].

Early Child Development:

Lullaby lyrics, and the talking and singing that accompany them, can soothe a child and provide important opportunities for young children to hear new vocabulary, figurative language, elegant phrases, as well as exaggeration and jokes [Wolf Brown].

Strengthening Community:

The writing and singing of lullabies strengthens relationships between parents, children and their community members. Lullaby Project residencies bring members of the community together through music and extends into to other community organised events.

Artistry & Equity:

Lullabies from the international programme have been written in over 20 different languages and in a diverse range of musical styles, reflecting the diverse parents that participate in the project.

Live Music Now is currently developing an evaluation framework, supported by the Institute of Cultural Capital in Liverpool, using the expertise of academics, health professionals and project participants to support the development and roll out of the programme.

Research by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute with Wolf Brown Associates over the past ten years have identified ways in which Lullaby Project was having an impact across New York City. These include reaching families in time of need, connecting caregivers and their babies, improving children’s language, social and communication skills and benefiting caregivers through their engagement with music.

Get Involved!

If you’d like to learn more about the project, or would like to know how you can get involved with a Lullaby project in your community, email [email protected]