By Jessica Nabb Those of you who came along to the recent Treetops Festival may have had the opportunity to meet my little ‘community music baby’ Indivara. We call him a community music baby because he’s been born into a lovely community of honorary aunties, uncles and grandparents in our local singing community here in the hills. He also participated in loads of community singing in-utero including weekly Sweet Sassafras rehearsals, the Millennium Chorus, the CMVic Singers Weekend in Mt Evelyn, Circle Singing and Vocal Jams in the Hills, and local flash-mobbing project ‘The Voice Mob’.
Throughout all of this time, one song that followed him through the entire pregnancy was ‘All Will Be Well’ a song arranged by Juliet Prager, from CMVic’s song book ‘Vic Sings’ which I learned through the Voice Mob project. I sang this song to Indi all of the time throughout the pregnancy and regularly had the opportunity to sing it in circle with other singers, even recording a version of the song to be played throughout the birth so that Indi could enter the world surrounded by familiar music and familiar voices.
In the end, Indi had to be delivered by cesarean which meant that we had to be separated for a short while after his birth. Luckily his ‘Nina’ (our word for ‘nanna’) was there to take him to the recovery room for me with strict instructions to sing to him until we could be reunited. She sang ‘All Will Be Well’.
Apparently as soon as she started singing to him he stopped crying and just stared at her. The whole room fell silent and mum got some lovely feedback later from the other patients who had benefited from hearing such a calming song during their own recovery.
Now, whenever Indi is upset we sing ‘All Will Be Well’ to him and he calms down. And those of you who were at Barb McFarlane’s Peace Songs workshop at Treetops will now understand why I got all choked up when we sang that song! Jessica Nabb is a singer and vocal leader based in the Dandenong Ranges. She is a big believer that everyone can sing and should be given the opportunity to participate in singing and music making on a regular basis. She leads local groups Sweet Sassafras and Soul Mamas, runs her own teaching business Singing With Heart, and regularly participates in group singing herself. You can find her online here! For info about this year’s CMVic SInging Camp, head here. ‘Vic Sings’ is available on the CMVic website