Arts Council England support Lullaby Project 2019-21 in partnership with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Lullaby Project pilot at Praxis Community Projects, photographer; Micha Theiner Lullaby Project pilot at Praxis Community Projects, photographer; Micha Theiner

We are delighted to announce (and so are they!) that Arts Council England has confirmed £40,000 towards the next phase of Lullaby Project, running over two years in three locations in the UK.

Speaking about the announcement, our Artistic Director Sara Lee said;

“My job is a privilege as I get to witness people from all walks of life finding inspiration and hope from creating original music. The pilot Lullaby Projects were especially moving experiences; I supported the parents to create something beautiful and meaningful for their children and watched as both parent and child were celebrated musically at each of the performances. I’m thrilled that we now have the opportunity to take the project to new areas with our partner the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.”

Arts Council England logo

Funding towards the 2019-21 programme has also been secured from Foyle Foundation, the Radcliffe Trust and the Kestrelman Trust.  

Born in the USA

Devised by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in the US, the Lullaby Project invites participants to work with professional musicians to write a personal lullaby for their children. The aim of the project is to strengthen the bond between parent and child through a creative arts activity. The project can also be a way for parents to explore and express their emotions in a safe, non-judgemental environment.

The Irene Taylor trust initially became involved in the Lullaby Project through commissions by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which included co-delivering the Lullaby Project in Chicago.

Building on our pilot UK Lullaby Projects in 2017 

In summer 2017 the Irene Taylor Trust worked in collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Resound (RPO) to bring the project to the UK. Over the course of two months, our project leaders worked with young refugee and migrant mothers in the WINGS group at Praxis Community Projects and fathers in a London prison.

Following this successful pilot stage, ITT has devised a plan with our partner the RPO to deliver the Lullaby Project over a two-year period in the three locations in the UK in Suffolk, Hull and London. As with the pilots, each location will include a project in a prison and a project in the community.

BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour ran a short piece about the pilot project, which you can listen to here.

Creating beautiful music to share with children

Listen to the tracks recorded with the WINGS group at Praxis Community Projects here:

The tracks created with men in prison are available here:

Evaluating the Lullaby Project 

Researcher Sara Ascenso followed the process of bringing the Lullaby Project to the UK and created a report assessing the impact of the pilots, concluding that “the Lullaby Project model stands as a highly relevant initiative towards meeting the needs of both participant groups and the musicians, and the results make a strong case for its implementation in the UK.”

The full report is available to read here: The Lullaby Project Areas of Change and Mechanisms of Impact research by Sara Ascenso

Exploring the bond between parent and child through music

The Irene Taylor Trust has worked with parents on many occasions over the years. In 2015 & 16 we successfully co-delivered Lullaby Projects with teen parents in Chicago. Other projects focusing on parenthood have included: ‘Beyond the Secret Door’ (British Composers Award winner 2003), a children’s songbook written by women in prison; ‘Two Sides’ in HMYOI Werrington (2012) which brought together young men with their families; and ‘I See You, I See Me’ (2005), a collection of songs exploring how men in prison felt about fatherhood.

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