New Lullaby CD Inspired by Parents' Personal Stories, Song Suggestions from Across the Country
Collection of Piano Lullabies Designed to Soothe, Assist with Development
NEW PRAGUE, MINN. (May 2010) - Multi-million-selling pianists The O'Neill Brothers are pleased to announce the arrival of their latest CD, a 3.3-ounce, 4.7-inch collection of soothing lullabies inspired by stories from moms and grandmothers across the country. Lullabies: By Request is a must-have baby product perfect for newborns and little ones in the womb. It provides a meaningful new baby or shower gift inspired by moms. It is specifically designed to help infants and children relax and fall asleep, and encourage a child's development.
The nationally acclaimed Minnesota-based pianists launched a national search for song ideas -- and the stories behind them -- in February, and were inundated with hundreds of song suggestions and stories, some touching, some sentimental, some inspiring. Lullabies: By Request is available at www.pianobrothers.com, iTunes, Amazon and gift shops across the country.
The idea for the new CD was initially sparked by an experience that affected the entire O'Neill family. Last May, older O'Neill Brother Tim O'Neill and his wife Annie celebrated the birth of twins. Owen and Gabi O'Neill were born two months prematurely, and spent more than seven weeks in the NICU. The twins are at home with mom and dad now, and doing well, and Tim and Annie attribute at least some of the babies' recovery to the piano music they played for them throughout their hospital stay.
Tim and Ryan were inspired to record the new CD to help provide a small measure of comfort to families who are going through a similar experience, or who have babies, toddlers or even older children who need help falling asleep. The soothing melodies are also a good fit for moms-to-be who want to play music for their babies in utero. Some of the touching stories behind the songs on the CD include:
Taking You Home,suggested by Julie King of Franklin, Tenn., who sang it to her son, born 15 weeks prematurely. "On the good days, I would sing it joyfully anticipating the day we would bring our sweet boy home from the hospital," she wrote. "On the tough days, I would sing with tears streaming down my face wondering if the day I would bring him home would ever come." After 90 days in the NICU, Julie and her husband were finally able to bring their son home. He's now nine years old, and without any lasting effects from his prematurity.
Irish Lullaby, suggested by Lonnie Leach from Georgetown, Texas, whose great-great grandfather, an Irish immigrant, started the Irish Lullaby tradition. The Kelly family passed the song down from generation to generation where it reached Lonnie's mother. "When I was little, my mother would sing this lullaby to me and to my siblings. When my daughters were little, I sang this same song to them and now I sing it to my grandchildren. When my grandson was just an infant, the only thing that seemed to quiet him at bedtime was to carry him in my arms while singing Irish Lullaby. He would always fall asleep within minutes. Not only did it soothe and relax him, but I, too, was calmed by the song. Now AJ is eight and when he visits and has a difficult time getting to sleep, he will ask me to sing him this lullaby."
Additional songs on the CD include: Hush Little Baby (suggested by Rosalie Sanara Petrouske of Grand Ledge, Mich.), House at Pooh Corner (Amanda Abdo Sheahan, Saint Paul), You Are My Sunshine (Pat Buss, Apple Valley, Minn.), Caislean Droma Mhor - The Castle of Dromore (Mike McGarry, Chicago), Puff, the Magic Dragon (Dawn Kolden, Ryder, N.D.), Come Back Paddy Riley (Mary Collins, Oswego, N.Y.), My Own Home (Tammy Trincilla, Staten Island, N.Y.), Amazing Grace (Katie Leaver, New Prague, Minn.), Nighty Night Mr. Moon (Barbi Bartholomew, Eau Claire, Wisc.), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Canon in D (Audra Stewart, Omaha, Neb.), The Muffin Man (Ryan's favorite), The Itsy Bitsy Spider (Tim's favorite), Edelweiss/Rock a Bye Baby (a favorite of Kathy O'Neill, The O'Neill Brothers' mom) and Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) (Tim's wife Annie's favorite). The CD features more than 70 minutes of soothing melodies.
DESIGNED TO CALM
Arranged in The O'Neill Brothers' soothing, signature style, the lullabies on the new CD are specifically tailored to not only help calm babies, but may aid in their development, as well. The lullabies utilize repetitive melodies, rhythms of 60 - 70 beats per minute and little instrumentation -- elements common to the "Mozart Effect," which has been proven to aid in development, and assist with memory learning and spatial reasoning.
The music on Lullabies: By Request was developed in consultation with music therapist Christina Ufer, MT-BC, who has developed pediatric music therapy programs for the Mayo Clinic, Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital and Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
"Music can be an extremely powerful therapeutic tool, particularly with infants and toddlers," Ufer says. "The O'Neill Brothers' music is an excellent example of a style that really resonates with and calms children and their parents. I've used soothing lullaby music with my own patients, and I've seen it make a significant impact."
In addition to assisting with development, music has been shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rates, and reduce levels of stress, anxiety and fear. New research from the Tel Aviv Medical Center in Israel also indicates that the Mozart Effect is beneficial in helping premature babies get stronger, an added benefit that's near and dear to the O'Neills' hearts.
The O'Neill Brothers have released more than 30 CDs of beautiful instrumental piano music, and sold more than two million copies -- all without being associated with a major record label. Along the way, they've written and performed music for HBO (including music for "Sex and the City"), CBS, NBC, PBS, and ESPN. Several of their collections have hit the Billboard charts, and their PBS special featuring Deborah Gibson was nominated for an Emmy award.