Ba­bies soothed by tunes from N.S. mu­si­cians

Read To Me pro­motes read­ing, mu­sic

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS • CAPE BRETON - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

Start­ing this July, ev­ery baby born in Nova Sco­tia will re­ceive a new col­lec­tion of mu­sic and rhymes, cour­tesy of the Read to Me Pro­gram.

Read to Me is a non-profit early read­ing pro­mo­tion pro­gram that gives a free bag of books and read­ing in­for­ma­tion at the hos­pi­tal bed­side to ba­bies born in Nova Sco­tia. In ad­di­tion to baby books, the pro­gram also gives par­ents mu­sic and rhymes to en­joy with their baby.

“Mu­sic and song have so many ben­e­fits to young chil­dren,” said Read to Me di­rec­tor Carol McDougall. “Early ex­pe­ri­ences with mu­sic, song and rhyme have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on a baby’s lit­er­acy de­vel­op­ment by en­cour­ag­ing ac­tive lis­ten­ing and draw­ing a baby’s at­ten­tion to pat­terns in lan­guage. And it’s so much fun for ba­bies and par­ents to sing, dance and chant rhymes to­gether.”

The new mu­sic col­lec­tion was funded by a grant from the CIBC Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion. Mu­si­cians were sup­port­ive of the pro­ject, some do­nat­ing orig­i­nal songs, while oth­ers recorded vo­cal tracks to nurs­ery rhymes and lul­la­bies. “When both of my girls were born, the Read to Me pro­gram was an amaz­ing ad­di­tion to an al­ready amaz­ing team of health care providers and ser­vices,” says con­tribut­ing mu- si­cian Ian Sher­wood. “We found the bag re­ally helped to round out all the ed­u­ca­tion for go­ing home with a new­born.

"Get­ting to be a part of Read to Me’s new mu­sic col­lec­tion was some­thing I was hon­oured to be asked to do.”

Sher­wood, along with artists like David Myles, Rose Cousins and Jill Bar­ber and many oth­ers, gen­er­ously con­trib­uted time and tal­ent to the cre­ation of the new col­lec­tion, ti­tled Hick­ory Dick­ory Dock. Bed mu­sic for the nurs­ery rhymes was com­posed by Asif Illyas of the SHIRE, while mu­si­cians recorded their vo­cal tracks at New Scot­land Yard Stu­dios in Dart­mouth.

“So many fam­i­lies tell us how much they loved our first CD, that their baby can’t go for a drive, or go to sleep with­out lis­ten­ing to our mu­sic, and we know that this new col­lec­tion will be­come a new fam­ily fa­vorite,” says McDougall. “It’s so won­der­ful to hear how im­por­tant the mu­sic and rhymes have be­come to fam­i­lies in Nova Sco­tia. We know that the new col­lec­tion will be equally loved by fam­i­lies. We are so grate­ful to all of the mu­si­cians for con­tribut­ing their time and tal­ent to sup­port­ing the lan­guage and learn­ing of ba­bies in Nova Sco­tia.”

Start­ing in July, each Read to Me bag con­tains a down­load code that par­ents can use to re­deem the new mu­sic and rhymes online.

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