Day 27: Autism Awareness Month (3 days to go people!)
Warning! There is an image of the Letterstick Band in this post. Members of this band are deceased and this image may cause some family and friends distress. They are remembered here with a lot of love.
Music has always been incredibly important to me and has been a constant theme in my life. From the very early days I could always lose myself in a great song, a beautiful melody and a back beat. I was always sharing music through my playing, singing and hanging out in dives all over the countryside.
As a baby, my boy was sung to, rocked in rhythm and danced around the lounge room. I wanted him to share my love of music, but like most things it didn’t quite pan out the way I thought it would. Instead, I had a highly sensory, sensitive child and music was just that little bit too much for him to take. He did enjoy short musical experiences where he could touch the instruments and feel the vibrations, but very happy to walk away from it as well.
Lately though things are changing. He is taking more notice of music – enjoying it more, but still very sensitive to certain pitches and tones. There are particular songs and themes that can send him into a screaming, crying, ears covered foetal position. There are others that captivate him and make him smile. I even caught him trying to dance (very rare) this morning.
So I’ve been collecting lullabies and gentle music that is soothing and acceptable to him and I thought I’d share a few of our favourites with you.
The Putumayo Dreamland compilations are wonderful. Putumayo are a NYC based label who specialise in world music compilations. They have a great catalogue of quality music for kids from all over the world.
My favorites from this series are Acoustic Dreamland, Celtic Dreamland and the original Dreamland.
Quite a few years ago now I helped them in sourcing an appropriate Australian Indigenous track for their first Dreamland album. The track is from a group who is ‘family’ to me. They no longer play after losing band members to a road accident. I love this song, sung in Barrarra language of the An Barra clan from north west Arnhem land.
‘Yirrana” (sunset) by Letterstick Band
Here’s a beautiful cover of James Taylor’s ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ by William Fitzsimmons from the Acoustic Dreamland album
There’s some amazing artists doing beautiful albums for children. Justine Clarke is an Australian actress who is making great albums and dvds that kids just love. Here she is singing ‘Creatures of the Rain and Sun’
And of course there’s the artists who just make luscious music that creates a relaxing environment for our kids. Here’s Lior with ‘Secret Little Garden’ (check out his fabulous website)
And lastly (because I don’t want to use up all my available space in one post) here is a song from an Australian kids show Giggle & Hoot which is screened around bedtime each night. L hates the voices of the characters, but the songs are pretty good and this one in particular is a winner. Sweet Dreams everyone…