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Nightingale Music with mums and babies

Post natal singing with Nightingale Music

Nightingale Music, Danielle Gagnon‘s post natal singing group caught the eye of HOT’s Zelly Restorick, who wanted to know more about what happens and how it is beneficial for the mums and babies. Here she asks Danielle some questions and hopes the article will help spread the word about this invaluable activity for both new mums and their babies.

How did you first come across the idea of post natal singing and why do you feel it’s valuable for babies and mothers?

The idea behind postnatal singing stems from a wish to do some singing with mums. I have been thinking for a while of forming some sort of choir for mums, as a natural extension of what I’m doing with the children. The benefits of singing on our mental health are well documented. Being a new mum especially can be a difficult time in your life. It can be overwhelming, isolating, even bonding with your baby isn’t always straight forward, as sometimes you just feel like you don’t know what to ‘do’ with them. Many new mums suffer from postnatal depression. I struggled when both my children were very young in many different ways. I went to a postnatal group and it helped me not feel so alone, as well as giving me a space and time that felt like it was ‘for me’ outside of the day to day concerns.

Music just has so much to offer in parenting a young baby; everything from soothing them to sleep, distracting them when they’re upset or having a nappy change, bonding and playing. I want to create a space for mums to be able to share, to know they aren’t alone and to create a sense of community for them, where they can learn songs that they can sing with their new baby, but also singing (and moving) for enjoyment. I hope these families will leave feeling calmer, refreshed and a little less overwhelmed by their new motherhood.

What drew you to these sessions personally?

For me I found it difficult to find postnatal groups when my babies were small, but I benefited from the ones I found. I wanted to give back and offer something different than the usual postnatal groups that tend to be fitness related. I’ve been running music groups for babies and toddlers in Hastings for over a year now. I’m so excited to do this to set something up for the very youngest babies. I don’t think it can ever be too early for music. And I truly believe that the benefits of music for both mum and baby are invaluable.

Nightingale Music

Have you done some training to offer these sessions?

Early childhood music education is my passion. I’ve trained extensively in music education and am continually updating my training. I hold a PGDE in primary education as well as one in early childhood music education. As well as being a teacher, I am a musician. I grew up in a musical family and started playing the violin at the age of 3, as well as singing and studying music right up to attending and through University.

Nightingale Music

What happens at a session?

At the sessions my plan is to start by doing some songs and games that are aimed at the babies. We will then do a little bit of singing, learning simple song and rounds from around the world. There will be time to share and ask questions of other mums. I plan on playing my violin for everyone. Babies really love listening to my violin – I never tire of their reactions. There will be a few toys and instruments for babies to explore as well. I want things to be as relaxed and comfortable for everyone as possible so it will be led by the babies needs as well.

I’m hoping mums can find some peace and calm in their week. To make new friends and connect with others. It will be an hour of music with their baby where they can play and sing with them, but also sing for themselves. Make some friends, learn something they can take home with them – a new game, a new song, something to try next time things feel difficult.

Where and when are the sessions held?

Sessions will be Wednesday afternoons 1 – 2pm at the bandstand in Alexandra Park in Hastings. Sessions are £2. My other regular groups are 10 – 11am Mondays and Fridays at the Citadel Salvation Army in Hastings. There’s half an hour of structured music teaching featuring props, stories, dancing and singing followed by free play where the babies can explore instruments and a variety of open ended toys.

How can people contact you and are you on social media?

Contact info is my email address nightingale.music.teaching@gmail.com or phone me on 07502985551. They can find me @nightingalemusichastings on Facebook and instagram. My booking site is https://www.bookwhen.com/nightingalemusic

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Posted 11:07 Monday, May 30, 2022 In: Music & Sound

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