I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

During several of our recent GGK Preschool trainings we’ve been showing the video the Long Reach of Early Childhood (beautiful, culturally diverse video by the way – here’s the link if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/SSwpPfjmqBo ). In the video there is a section where a Latina mother is singing a traditional lullaby to her baby and every time we play it, several of the Latina participants in the training have started to sing along. They shared that this is a very important part of their culture. Most cultures have traditional lullabies that are used to soothe babies, but have you ever wondered if there is any science behind that? This past week, one of the GKI founders and Board members, Betsy Dew shared some recent research that we thought you might find interesting. The research was conducted at the University of Montreal and their findings indicated that babies remained calm two times longer when they were listening to a song than they did when listening to someone talk (Corbeil, Trehub, & Peretz, 2015). The researchers were interested in finding out how singing affected babies’ emotional control in comparison to spoken words. In order to assure that the infants were not influenced by other factors like their mother’s voice, facial expressions, tone of voice, or the words spoken, they used recorded voices in an unfamiliar language (Turkish) while the mother sat behind them so the baby could not see her face. So here’s how it worked. With the mother seated behind the baby, they waited until the baby was calm, and then they played the Turkish recordings (normal adult type speech, baby talk, or singing) until the baby made a “cry-face.” Here’s what they found: when they played the Turkish song, babies stayed calm, on average, for about nine minutes. Corbeil said that “For speech, it was roughly only half as long, regardless of whether it was baby-talk or not”(AlphaGalileo Ltd, 2015).  “The lack of significant distinction between the two types of speech came as a surprise to us,” she added. (AlphaGalileo Ltd, 2015) They then also repeated the conditions with mothers using a familiar language (French) and got the same results. The researchers explain that this research leaves little doubt about how effective singing nursery rhymes is for keeping babies calm for longer periods. Researcher Peretz claims “These findings speak to the intrinsic importance of music, and of nursery rhymes in particular, which appeal to our desire for simplicity, and repetition.” (AlphaGalileo Ltd, 2015) The researchers believe that singing could be particularly useful for the parents who are challenged by adverse socio-economic or emotional circumstances. “Although infant distress signals typically prompt parental comforting interventions, they induce frustration and anger in some at-risk parents, leading to insensitive responding and, in the worst cases, to infant neglect or abuse,” Peretz said. “At-risk parents within the purview of social service agencies could be encouraged to play vocal music to infants and, better still, to sing to them.” (AlphaGalileo Ltd, 2015) Thanks Betsy for sharing this research with us. So Home Visitors…what do you think? There is speculation that Western mothers in particular speak more than they sing to calm their babies. Do you think their babies might be missing out on the emotion-regulating properties of singing? How might you incorporate these findings into your work with families? As always, feel free to email any topic suggestions or questions to danabroadway@greatkidsinc.net . Be sure to add Great Vine ideas to the subject line of the email.

Works Cited

AlphaGalileo Ltd. (2015, October 28). News Release – All Regions. Retrieved from                  AlphaGalileo.org: http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=157788&CultureCode=en

Corbeil, M., Trehub, S. E., & Peretz, I. (2015). Singing Delays the Onset of Infant Distress. Infancy.      doi:DOI: 10.1111/infa.12114      

Recent Posts

Love Leads to Learning

Love Leads to Learning

Carving out time to create our monthly blog is always refreshing for me. It’s an opportunity to step back from writing curriculum and...

read more
History is Not Your Destiny

History is Not Your Destiny

Some people are born with a love for reading. You know if you’re one of them! My sister is. Even as a child, she often had her head...

read more
Embrace the Joy!

Embrace the Joy!

As I sit down to write this blog, my week is coming to a close. It’s Friday. I’ve spent my workdays in a virtual conference learning,...

read more
Fresh Air

Fresh Air

For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, spring is officially here, and that’s a reason to celebrate! I don’t know about...

read more


Hope can be defined as wanting something to happen or be true or to expect something with confidence, per Merriam-Webster....

read more
The Next Generation

The Next Generation

Great Kids has been up to some exciting things for the past couple of years, and we are finally ready to share with the rest of the world! We have completed our most comprehensive update of our GGK Prenatal to 36 months (GGK P36) curriculum series – we call it the “GGK P36 NEXT GENERATION” series. It has been a labor of love for us. We intentionally reviewed all components of the curriculum, listened to feedback from the field, and incorporated the best practices in early childhood for our revisions, and the result is spectacular.

read more

Growing Great Kids® Next Generation P-36

Our latest effort to support the work of Home Visiting, our Growing Great Kids® Next Generation (GGK®) Curriculum materials.

GGK® for Preschoolers

A Curriculum & Certification Program for Home Visitors aimed at fostering the growth of nurturing, developmentally enriched parenting skills, building protective factors for children 3 to 5 years old.

Open Enrollment

View upcoming virtual seminar open enrollment dates and subject areas.

How to Get Started

Start by scheduling a free 30-minute webinar to learn more about how your organization might benefit from Great Kids® affordable curriculum with no recurring costs.

Schedule Your Free Webinar Today

Frequently Asked Questions from Our New Customers

Please review common questions for those that are new to Great Kids®. Book your free, personalized webinar to learn more.

For Our Existing Customers

Thank you for being part of the Great Kids® family of agencies and programs. Support & information on Great Kids programs is just a click or phone call away.

Pre and Post Certification Products

All the tools you need to start using Great Kids® Curriculum right away and to continue to enhance the effectiveness of your program.

Ordering Materials

Need replacement manuals? Want to add to your library of Great Kids® resources? Find everything you need here.

  • New Products
  • Recovery-Impact-Support-Empower
  • Replacement Materials
  • Spanish Materials Available

Open Enrollment

View upcoming virtual seminar open enrollment dates and subject areas.

Existing Customer FAQs

Are you a past or current customer of Great Kids®? Find common questions and answers here.

Pricing Information for Existing Customers

Find pricing for companion products and other programs.

About Great Kids®

In partnership with home visitors, Great Kids has helped hundreds of thousands of children feel safe and secure, loved and valued, curious and capable.

Contact Great Kids

Contact Great Kids today by phone, by email, through social media, or by our mailing address.



Great Kids® has incorporated decades of theoretical and empirical foundations regarding the kinds of interventions that have been shown to make a difference for children into the Growing Great Kids® Prenatal to 5 Years and Growing Great Families® curricula.

Alignment With Program Models

Our curricula are flexible enough to be used within a multitude of program models.

Protective Factors

The research-based principles of the Protective Factors Framework were foundational in the development of the Growing Great Kids® Curriculum.

Great Kids® Blog

Find informative articles about growing creativity in young children, welcoming a new sibling, playing outside, as well as general Great Kids® updates.

GK Video Podcast

A video podcast series dedicated to overcoming bias in others, and within our selves.

Parent’s Place Newsletter

Limited edition, weekly installment Newsletter published by Great Kids® from March through December 2020 with printable resources for home visitors and the families they serve.

Open Enrollment

Great Kids is proud to offer a variety of virtual seminar opportunities! Visit our Open Enrollment page for the latest dates and seminar offerings. 


We continuously add seminar dates to our list so please check back often. For more information about how to enroll, contact us at info@greatkidsinc.net.


You can also enter your email address in the form below to subscribe to receive regular updates from GK, including information on open enrollment. 


We look forward to partnering with you!

We look forward to connecting with you!