Singing is an important way for children to learn and grow. It engages so many different parts of their mind and is an excellent early literacy tool. Even if the children don’t know the meaning of the words they are singing, it creates pattern and sound recognition, which aids in word recognition and speech skills. Incorporating songs from other cultures in children’s non-native language can introduce different cultures at a young age. Putomayo’s Dreamland: World Lullabies & Soothing Songs presents thirteen different songs from all over the world sung in many different languages.
As the title suggests, all the songs are lullabies or meant to be sang or played at bedtime. A variety of instruments are used from the guitar to wind chimes to symbols and a traditional stringed instrument called sanshin from Okinawa. There are undoubtedly even more native instruments that I don’t know the name of, so for an older child interested in musical instruments, this provides a great opportunity for research and learning. The songs would be appropriate for all children, from infants to help soothe at night, to middle school students who want to experience music from outside of their culture.
Even if children cannot understand the words being said, the CD is sure to delight. The words create a nice cadence in the songs and all the different instruments are sure to delight children and adults. However, the fact that the songs aren’t in English will mean this has a limited audience and could be off-putting for some listeners, but ultimately this a great CD to get children hearing other languages and instruments.
Various. Dreamland: World Lullabies & Soothing Songs. Putomayo, 2003. CD.