When I had my daughter I was 400 miles away from my family and I developed post-natal depression. Those baby years were the hardest of all, perhaps you remember those years too? Imagine you dont just have a new baby and all the exhaustion that that can bring. Perhaps you also have problems with depression or anxiety. Perhaps you have domestic violence or drug and alcohol addition in your little family.
For some families and new mums attending baby classes and social groups when you are already coping with so much is just too daunting. Some feel it just isn't for them, that no one will understand them, that they are too shy to talk to new people or perhaps they are too anxious to even go in the building.
So imagine a project where you can go each week. Where no one asks you questions, where you don't have to talk if you dont want to. Where you are greated warmly and where mum is made to feel like she mattters just as much as the baby. Where the session is non verbal and all music led. Where you can come with your social worker, outreach worker or grandparents and no one will mind. Where there is no rush to go at the end of the session, where you can stay and chill out in a safe and supported space.
Where your baby is engaged for 45 minutes and everyone is mesmerised, enchanted and caught up with the atmosphere - Wow!
Babigloo has been delivering therapeutic music led sessions to parents and babies 0-12 months in Poole and Dorset through the Children's Centres there since 2016. The sessions are all non verbal, led by vocal and musical rhythms with classical music and theatre. They are based on an approach by an American, Edwin Gordon which we have studied with Professor Paulo Lameiro in SAMP music school, Leiria , Portugal.
This project started after my own experiences of post natal depression, struggling to cope with a difficult baby and feeling very uncomfortable at mother and baby groups. There has to be something more enjoyable you can do with your baby I thought? I certainly didnt feel happy when I sang 'If youre happy and you know it clap your hands', I missed real music and disliked endless nursery rhymes that didnt soothe my child anyway.
So I began to research what I did enjoy and this led me to the work of Professor Paulo Lameiro in SAMP music school in Portugal. Paulo was leading the field in creating musical experiences for babies and their parents. We got a grant to take a team of Dorset artists out to Leiria to study the methods. We also brought Paulo and his team to the UK to give CPD to children centre workers in Poole. After this year long period of research our team have begun writing and delivering a 5 week programme for babies and parents.
But we need funding to continue our work. We would like to deliver a 12 month programme of sessions in children centres in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset. Our sessions so far have seen first hand the amazing benefits this work can bring. One young single mum from the travelling community wept with anxiety when she came to our first session. She had brought her dad with her so she could leave at any moment. However she relaxed, she stayed and now volunteers at that Children's Centre having felt confident in attending lots of classes and recommends the centre to other mums.
This early intervention through classical music has shown to have therapeutic effects on the self regulation of emotions in both parent and child as well as aiding a better bond with baby.
Some feedback from seesions:
Highlight of our week! - You are amazing! - Loved it - very relaxed session - the style is very laid back - very enjoyable - everything we love it - This is brilliant thank you- Amazing!
We need your help to generate funding to allow us to continue our work. Please help support us by donating to support a family through our programme, Whether its one session at £10, two sessions at £20 or the full programme of 5 sessions at £50. Please help us to change the lives of those mums who dont find motherhood easy for all sorts reasons.
We regret we cannot share photos from sessions as we work with special families.
Babigloo is supported by Poole Arts Service, The Arts Development Company, Borough of Poole Childrens Centres and Youth Music Fund A.