End of the lullaby as younger parents eschew the bedtime ritual, survey finds.


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I just read an article in the Telegraph by Camilla Turner that amazed me. She wrote, “It may once have been seen by parents as a staple of the bedtime regime – but now it seems that lullabies are falling out of favour as younger parents eschew the ritual.”  

Just over a third (38 per cent) of parents sing lullabies to their children aged under five, according to a YouGov poll of over 2,000 adults.  

But the vast majority – 70 per cent – of those who sing lullabies are aged over 45-years-old, suggesting that the practice is less popular with younger parents. Maybe that explains my shock as I am a grand parent now and would still sing to my grandchildren.

The poll shows that women are more than twice as likely to sing to their children every night than men.

Research carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital has previously shown that lullabies help to make children feel better.  

They sang the songs to a group of children under three, some of whom were waiting for heart transplants, and monitored their heart rates and pain perception.  

Results of the study, published by the journal Psychology of Music, showed that a group of child patients at the hospital experienced lower heart rates, less anxiety and reduced perception of pain after they had lullabies sung to them.  

A separate study, published by the National Literacy Trust last year, found that singing songs and rhymes with your baby and young child support language development and reading skills by encouraging children to listen carefully to predict.

Laura Jane-Foley, a soprano singer and ambassador for the Lullaby Trust which aims to prevent unexpected deaths in infancy and promote infant health, said: “Singing to children is just as important as reading to them.

“The musical three R’s of rhythm, rhyming and repetition are crucial to a child’s mental and emotional development and, by participating in the shared activity of singing, parents are strengthening the bonds between parent and child.”

I am preparing to work on two early childhood literacy programs within NICU units. Hopefully we will gain some insights there as well. Find out more about the power of singing to infants at http://www.talkwithmebaby.org.

Here is a classic in case you need a prompt.


Nashville’s Best Kept Secret, The Station Inn.

My most recent visit to Nashville had many highlights but without doubt the evening that was the most enjoyable and memorable was Monday night at the Station Inn. 

If you know Nashville The Station Inn is on 12th Avenue and just a note it should not be judged by outside appearance or location, however if you are looking for a great live performance, by great musicians who care and have a passion for their music then it has no equal…it is the quintessential Nashville experience

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Vince Gill joining the Time Jumpers

The session I attended started just before 9pm. During the evening a group of about 11 of Nashville’s very best musicians including Vince Gill oined in on a variety of country classics. They call themselves the “Time Jumpers.”

The Time Jumpers are Nashville’s best kept musical secret, but the word is spreading about what many of Nashville’s recording artists, musicians, and industry executives have already discovered on Monday nights at The Station Inn.

About eight years ago, a few of Nashville’s studio musicians and vocalists made a deliberate decision to get together on stage one night a week just to have some fun playing their music of choice, and calling it their therapy session.

The venue chosen was the world famous Station Inn and before long the band grew and so did their audiences.

The Time Jumpers have reinvented Western Swing – bringing it into the 21st century with more power, energy, and downright fun than you’ve ever seen and heard. Armed with their infectious arrangements, amazing musicianship, and engaging personalities.

The Time Jumpers have been Nashville’s best kept musical secret….but the word is out now!!

Britain’s Idol Surprise!

Susan Boyle seemed an unlikely candidate on “Britain’s Got Talent,” but her dramatic performance on the reality competition show captured the hearts and imagination of viewers who watched her locally and on millions more on YouTube.

In fact, the clip still makes people cry including my mother. If you’re one of few who haven’t checked out the “Britain’s got talent” performance.

Boyle is frumpy, never-been-kissed and unemployed. The Millionaire Matchmaker has even offered to do a makeover for her..

The goofy music played over her introduction reflects how the judges, hosts, studio audience and even viewers like us did not take her seriously.

They all expected a ridiculous rendition of a song that’s far below her grandiose, delusional perception of her talents.

But Carumba were we all wrong.. As soon as she began “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, everyone was shocked.

You can see, hear and feel the ripple of surprise and delight in the audience. Even the infamous sourpuss Simon made a goofy joke and cracked a smile or in his case smirk..

It’s moving. In a sense, she has nothing except the aforementioned dream. And that dream might just become a reality.

Idol 8…No Change.

American Idol kicked off Season 8 Tuesday night with new contestants and new executive producers. But the real star of the Phoenix auditions was the new judge, songwriter Kara DioGuardi. Other than that I was not impressed. Hopefully there will be some great talent somewhere!
DioGuardi encountered a 16-year-old superfan and a back-talking babe in a bikini. (The fan went home; the babe went to Hollywood — much to DioGuardi’s chagrin.)

Looks like a seemingly endless supply of clueless singers determined to torture their songs into submission, a couple of sentimental stories with sweet voices attached. Of course, there’s also the occasional surprise, like Simon Cowell passing through Brianna Quijada after putting her through the wringer for her version of Killing Me Softly With His Song. But if any serious contenders came from Phoenix, they’ll have to do some serious convincing of fans and judges alike.

The season opener pulled in 30 million viewers, the lowest for an Idol premiere since 2004.

Look Out iTunes, MySpace Music Launches

Sony Pictures, McDonald’s, State Farm and Toyota have signed on as platinum sponsors of MySpace Music.
The e-commerce venue is slated to launch in the next few weeks. It will be integrated with MySpace proper for some functionality, but can also be used as a standalone resource by those who are not members of the News Corp.-owned social network.
I believe that MySpace Music will succeed because of the social filter on top of it, making the service more like an online community than simply a source for music.

Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing drew a distinction between the site’s relationship with the music labels Sony BMG, Universal and Warner and the new sponsors. “We haven’t made just a commercial deal with the labels, but a joint venture, so they are invested in our success,”

Berman said. Platinum sponsor brands, on the other hand, will be integrated into various MySpace Music programs. For example, McDonald’s will sponsor free music downloads and have a presence among the customized tools on the MySpace Personal Music Player.

The site will accommodate ad-sponsored unlimited live streaming of content, but downloading material to another device would typically require a fee.

State Farm’s brand will be visible throughout the site, gracing the music player and various playlists. The insurer will probably integrate its MySpace Music affiliation with its own content offering, NowWhat.com.

Toyota plans to sponsor “Toyota Tuesdays,” supporting free music downloads and rotating its ads on the music player for the next year.

Sony Pictures is launching a campaign for the Oct. 3 release Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Whereas MySpace users can now only add a single song to their profiles for sharing, MySpace Music will allow them to create and post entire playlists. Sony will exploit that feature by skinning user lists with messages related to the movie. A MySpace Music homepage roadblock for the film is also planned.

MySpace Music will be marketed via the MySpace network of 76 million domestic and 122 million worldwide users and through some offline marketing as well.
News Corp

Sony Ericsson Launches DRM-Free Music Store

All Xanga readers love to download music…here is the latest about downloading to your phones from your PCs.

Sony Ericsson has rolled out its PlayNow arena, an over-the-air download service that will sell DRM-free music as well as games and applications.
The expanded mobile music service will go live in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway on Aug. 25. Each country will have localized content in the relevant language.

The London based joint venture between Sony and Ericsson has secured the global rights to five million tracks. Universal Music Group is the only major not to sign up the service and the company says it is in discussions with UMG as well as 30 other labels.
Around one million tracks will be available from Aug. 25 in the Nordic markets with the rest to be added at a later date. Sony Ericsson says the service will launch in other European markets this year followed by Latin America and the Asia Pacific region in 2009.

In Sweden, full track downloads will cost 9 kronor ($1.42). In Finland, tracks will cost €0.99 ($1.46).

Sony Ericsson’s Walkman and MP3-enabled phones from the 2006 K800 model will be compatible with the service, a total of 25 handsets.

Customers will get a high quality DRM-free MP3 delivered to their computer and a protected lower quality file sent directly to their phone. The PlayNow arena can also be accessed via a computer and MP3 purchases could then be transferred to music players or other MP3-enabled devices.

PlayNow first launched in 2004 to provide polyphonic ringtones and later added mastertones, games and some full music tracks.

Leona Lewis Secret Album

I recently read this online, “Music mogul SIMON COWELL is infuriated after learning LEONA LEWIS made a secret album – which is due to be released alongside her official debut. Cowell was informed about the record, The Best Kept Secret, only days after Lewis’ single Bleeding Love reached number one in the U.K. charts on Sunday and is mounting an attempt to block the ‘unofficial’ LP before its release next month.”

Yikes too late…my colleagues have the rights to the “secret” album for Asia pacific and Japan and it is already in stores here in Japan.
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The Best Kept Secret, recorded with rival record label UEG, was made before Lewis signed a recording contract with Cowell in 2006. A statement released by UEG reads, “The situation has left a very bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths. A huge amount of time and energy was put into working with Leona, not to mention $35,000 (GBP70,000) in production and studio costs that still remain unpaid.

“We’ve got 12 tracks and will release them so we can cover the costs accrued in development.” However, a spokesperson for Lewis says, “These are unfinished tracks and UEG are clearly attempting to exploit Leona’s success. Our team is looking into this.”

I will post a track from the album as soon as I can. The music business is very tough and I am sure the original label did put in quite a lot of effort and expense to record Leona Lewis. I am also sure that Simon Cowell did a better job of making her a star right from the start…difficult call.

Simon Cowell’s album