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A few months ago Lily and I excitedly hurried down to London (just for day, so exhausting but tons of fun) to an event that I really, really wanted to share with you all but alas, I couldn’t — until now that is.
Does your little one like to giggle? (well durr!)
Do they have the most beautiful grin that stretches from ear to ear?
We all know that there’s certain things that are more likely to make your baby happy than others and whilst all of our kiddos are different and like things that are unique to just them, science tells us that exciting sounds and melodies such as raspberry blowing or the calming voice of one of their favourite grown-ups is a sure thing when it comes to our babies flashing those pearly whites (or just those bloomin’ gorgeous gummies!)
So what has all this got to do with our day down in the big smoke?
Well, we were there to meet with the team over at C&G Baby Club together with Caspar Addyman and Laura Stewart, child psychologists from Goldsmith University and Imogen Heap, a well-known (Grammy award-winning actually!) singer-songwriter and composer and most importantly, a mother.
And why? Because she’s only gone and made a bloody song specifically designed for kiddos and scientifically tested to make our munchkins happy, giggly and full of smiles! How awesome is that?
About the ‘The Happy Song’
A mighty 1000 British parents have teamed up with C&G Baby Club over the past few months and using their invaluable help to work out what babies really like listening to ‘The Happy Song’ was created.
Interestingly, these were the top 10 noises that parents thought their babies preferred:-
(1) ‘BOO!’ – 66%
(2) Blowing raspberries or aeroplane flying sounds – 57%
(3) Sneezing – 51%
(4) Kissing noises – 43%
(5) The sound of other babies laughing – 28%
(6) Squeaking toy (car horn) – 23%
(7) Duck quack – 23%
(8) Popping your cheeks – 20%
(9) Farts – 16%
(10) Coughing – 16%
I think Lily’s top three would be the ‘BOO!’ noises, duck quacks and raspberry-blowing – what about your little one?
The song’s lyrics talk of a parent’s love for their child wherever they are which is obviously a fact that we can all relate to!
It has a 4/4 tempo which was chosen because it was the most popular and the easiest to bust some moves to and Imogen chose to compose the song in the key of E flat as it was the key that her 18-month-old daughter, Scout, sang a melody in during the first studio session. Awww!
The Making of The Song
So, where did they start and how did the song get developed?
Well, it all began with parents uploading sounds that made their babies laugh to the C&G Baby Club page on Facebook.
Using these sounds, some previous research and hypotheses from the psychologists, Imogen worked her musical magic to create 4 short songs that explored a variety of different tempos, chord ranges and patterns, pitches, rhymes, performance cues and musical devices (wow, that’s a lot of things to consider isn’t it?)
The first person to hear the tunes was Scout (how sweet is this?) but more opinions were needed to make sure she was on the right track.
So, the team over at the university carried out a 3-month testing process at their infant laboratory during which they identified the key ingredients to create the ultimate happy song for little ears.
They did this by monitoring more than 50 babies’ reactions to the songs and kept an eye on their movements, facial expressions, heart rate and vocalisations to see which parts of the tracks created the most positive moods.
Imogen added the finishing touches to the final track and, at last, it was ready to be released.
She said “I wanted to write a song that I could sing to Scout and that other parents could sing to their little ones. I’ve never composed a song in this way before. I love the fact that a group of babies were ultimately choosing the direction of a song – vicariously of course via the Goldsmiths team.“
There’s a lovely little video about the making of the song (see below) and if you look closely, you’ll see Lily at the beginning in one of her favourite green dresses and at the very end (during the credits) getting very excited and dancing to the tune…
You see, we were invited over, with a few other families, to see what Lily thought of the new song and now it’s your turn to see what your baby thinks as well…
(The music video for the song was directed by BAFTA-award winning director Michael J Ferns from Pretzel Films, very swish!)
Did they enjoy it? I hope so!
If they did (and science says that they probably will!) you can stream it via YouTube (as shown above), the Sound of Happy website or even add it to your baby’s favourite music/playlist on Spotify — how useful is that?
The song was played to and tested on 56 infants (Lily included) aged between 6 – 24 months and their actions were monitored to see whether it had encouraged happiness and laughter as intended.
Sure enough, the cheerful 2-minute-long melody filled with happy and playful sounds and lyrics amazed researchers when the babies responded with big smiles of delight and giggled away to the track.
Lily got really excited when the song got in to full swing starting off with a slow side-to-side dance before stamping her feet and falling in to fits of giggles. It was like magic, how on earth have they done it? Well, I have no idea but it’s definitely a winner in our book!
Dr. Addyman said “In the past researchers have looked at how noises and music might sooth or distress babies. Rarely has anyone focused on what sounds make babies happy.“
I can see this being played over and over for the foreseeable future but hey, it’s actually kinda catchy and I’ll do anything to see her gorgeous grin.
What do you think of the #SoundOfHappy song?
How did your little one react to the music?
* * Listen to the song here: http://www.soundofhappy.com/ * *
(a BIG thank you to the lovely Emily of Emily & Indiana for taking some photos of Lily on the day, you’re a superstar!)
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