Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project Reaches Hundreds of Families Throughout 2018-2019 Season

Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project Reaches Hundreds of Families Throughout 2018-2019 Season

This season, approximately 700 families in New York City, across the country, and around the world will take part in Carnegie Hall's Lullaby Project, a program which pairs pregnant women and new parents with professional artists to write personal lullabies for their babies, supporting maternal health, aiding child development, and strengthening the bond between parent and child. In New York City, the project will reach parents at 15 different sites, including healthcare settings, homeless shelters, high schools, foster care, and correctional facilities. Extending across the country and through several international programs, the Lullaby Project enables more than 20 partner organizations to support families in their own communities.

Families can also give the gift of song this holiday season with the Decca Gold (Universal Music Group) release, Hopes & Dreams: The Lullaby Project, an album of original lullabies written by workshop participants and performed by leading 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.

The first Lullaby Project took place at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx in December 2011, and since then more than 1,000 families have written original songs for their children, many of which are available for listening and sharing at Lullabies have been written in over 20 different languages and a wide range of musical styles, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of families that participate in the program. Parents are offered a creative opportunity to communicate feelings, hopes, and dreams for their child, working side by side with professional musicians to craft lyrics and music. At the end of the songwriting process, each parent receives a recording of his/her lullaby to listen to and sing with their baby.

Artist residencies will be offered at 15 local sites this season through partnerships with multiple city agencies, including the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS), NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS), the NYC Department of Education's LYFE program, NYC Health + Hospitals, NYC Department of Correction (DOC), and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Lullaby song circles facilitated by the Moving Star Vocal Ensemble will build on this creative activity during the 2018-2019 season, giving parents and staff at community partner sites the chance to come together through song while supporting parent-child bonding and early childhood development.

Carnegie Hall also provides professional training and resources to more than 20 partners across the country and abroad, enabling them to support families in their own communities. Current national and international partners include:

Austin Classical Guitar (Austin, TX)
Bay Chamber Concerts (Rockport, ME)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Chicago, IL)
The Corporation of Massey Hall & Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto, Canada)
El Sistema Greece (Athens, Greece)
Flint School of Performing Arts (Flint, MI)
Instruments of Change (Vancouver, Canada)
Irene Taylor Trust / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London, UK)
Keys to Life (Hiland Mountain Correctional Center) (Eagle River, AK)
Luna Tierra Birth Center (El Paso, TX)
Memorial University (St. John's, Canada)
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Milwaukee, WI)
Music Soul Action (Thessaloniki, Greece)
Notes with a Purpose (Las Vegas, NV)
Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago, IL)
Oregon Symphony (Portland, OR)
Palaver Strings (Boston, MA)
Reno Philharmonic / Note-Able Music Therapy Services (Reno, NV)
Seattle Symphony Orchestra (Seattle, WA)
University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO)
University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem, NC)
VocalEssence (Minneapolis, MN)
Walla Walla Symphony (Walla Walla, WA)

On Friday, May 31, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., mothers, fathers, musicians, and partners from around the world will gather to celebrate original songs created as part of the project. The concert will be made available to a wider audience through a livestream on, and the national convening will also include professional development sessions for new and prospective partners led by expert teaching artists.

This fall and spring, interactive sensory musical experiences will also be offered in Carnegie Hall's Resnick Education Wing for babies and toddlers ages 0-2 through OTOYOTOY!, an immersive theater piece, and NOOMA, a new Carnegie Hall, Minnesota Opera, and San Francisco Opera co-commissioned opera specifically designed with babies in mind. These performances are free and open to the general public. Lullaby participants and families will be invited to both performances. For more information on Carnegie Hall's early childhood concerts, click here.

Photo Credit: Stefan Cohen

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