In a couple of days, we’ll have a quick Q&A with Leigh Graf, our story teller for the Lullabies concert. But before we do that, we thought we’d hear from a couple of choir members about bedtime and lullabies from their own experience. First up, this post from Melissa Hindley, the current VCS Board President, first soprano, and frequent soloist. (Yes, Ms. Hindley is from the UK. Yes, she is refreshingly and unromantically honest about the incentives that take some parents through “one more story!”)
“Bedtime stories build the foundation for future achievement….giving children and parents the tools they need to dream big.” So, says Carol Rasco, CEO of Reading Is Fundamental.
I happen to agree.
My children are four years apart in age, which means that I got to read a lot of bedtime stories when they were little. Because what was good for my 6-year-old daughter would not do for my 2-year-old son. So I read numerous books each bedtime to suit my very particular audience!
Some days, of course, bedtime could not come soon enough; you know how those days go. On those days it was rather tempting to skip the story and get straight to the large glass of red waiting for me on the other side of putting babes to bed! But, as we all know, part of the joy of being a parent is about reaping the rich rewards, which follow such selfless acts as pushing through the pain of a drawn out bedtime, right?
As it turns out, the thought of reading to your little darlings at the end of a long day may seem torturous but, when you get down to it, it actually feels a lot like heaven. Snuggling down next to their warm, little bodies and watching them fight sleep as they paw over the pictures of their beloved characters and recite, word-perfect, along with you the words of their favourite bedtime story. What parent could resist? What parent wouldn’t want to experience that?
Studies have shown that reading is not only good for your children, it is absolutely imperative. You wouldn’t have a dog and not walk it… And children want our time and attention more than anything else. Having said that, I bet if you asked my children how much time I spent reading to them each night when they were little (30 minutes each, by the way) they would probably tell you it was no more than a couple of minutes! Children may not be the most reliable source of information but I believe that this does show just how much being read bedtime stories means to them.
My children are 13 and 9 now and both love to go to bed and read by themselves. I asked them to name their top 10 favourite bedtime reads and interestingly they are all from the years before they could read themselves. It would appear that waiting an extra hour for that glass of red was well worth it!
Here are my kid’s top 10 bedtime story picks:
- Where, Oh Where, is Kipper’s Bear? – Mick Inkpen
- Lullabyhullabaloo! – Mick Inkpen
- Pooh! Is that You, Bertie? – David Roberts
- I Love You, Blue Kangaroo! – Emma Chichester
- Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
- Tatty Ratty – Helen Cooper
- I am not Tired and I will not go to Bed – Lauren Child
- Hairy Maclary’s Rumpus at the Vet – Lynley Dodd
- Slinky Malinki Open the Door – Lynley Dodd
- After the Storm – Nick Butterworth
It is a fact that all children LOVE bedtime stories. Hollywood even made a movie about how much children love bedtime stories and now, Vienna Choral Society will sing them!
Tickets are now on sale for Lullabies, 4:30 pm, Saturday, March 15, 2014 (at VBC, 541 Marshall Road SW, Vienna, VA 22180) – $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 60+ and students (15 – 18), youth (14 and below) attend for free accompanied by a ticketed attendee. Tickets can be purchase through a member of the choir, or online.