I think it was the perfect timing for when I was in a really difficult place. I was really struggling with that loneliness and isolation. You know, we couldn't just go and see family, go and see friends, or anyone really. So, yeah, it massively helped. As the parent, that massively helped me, which obviously in turn helps the children because I'm in a better place to be there for them. (Parent attending with their Baby)
The key points of learning and reflection from the evaluation process are:
- Babigloo has provided a valued form of social interaction for parents with very young children which has counteracted their isolation and contributed to their mental wellbeing, even for the groups where the music making sessions were entirely online.
- Parents and children’s centres recognise and value how Babigloo’s non-verbal approach is different to most other music making groups and activities on offer to families with very young children.
- Feelings of togetherness for parents and their babies comes from the environment Babigloo creates. The no talking rule enables a focus on musical communication and adult responsiveness to babies’ engagement and vocalisations.
- Parents express pleasure in seeing their baby (and other babies) responding to music, leading them to listen to more music at home, and use music to calm, soothe and distract their babies.
- Although they have adapted practice to a very different way of working, the musicians have retained the essential elements of Babigloo’s non-verbal, baby-centred approach to music making.
- Additional time for planning and communicating with partners was essential for delivering the project successfully.
Introduction from Hannah Baker, Senior Manager, The Arts Development Company
We are delighted to share this evaluation report on Babigloo Music for Babies. Everyone’s lives without exception have been challenged and impacted by the pandemic since early 2020; many programmes of activities with communities were forced to stop altogether. The Babigloo team have worked to adapt all aspects of their offer to families to ensure families could still take part – sometimes remotely and sometimes face to face with restrictions in place. The connections that the shared experience brings are evident in this report and the value in music making together can never be under-estimated. The music leaders worked through many of their own challenges and our final sharing event on October 19th felt truly special, marking the latest milestone in the development of the programme and most importantly seeing babies and parents who have thrived on the experience of being a part of it all.
Thank you to all the families, the talented and committed music leaders and musicians and to our funders and partners, especially Youth Music for their continuing support.