New Yorker Lianne Bassin sees herself as a “bridge-builder between worlds” because she utilizes her background as a singer, early childhood teacher and yoga instructor serve as the backbone for her debut album Breathe In: Children’s Songs for Mindfulness & Awareness.
I’m desperately in search of an alternative to listening to Idina Menzel sing about frozen fractals whenever I’m in a musical mood with my 6- and a 2-year-old. Breathe In not only is a refreshing sound in the car but also the content of Bassin’s lyrics inspires children to open their minds to become mindful of themselves and others.
Interesting idea right? Toddlers and pre-schoolers are mentally in the ego stage where it’s all about them. There’s nothing that can rework the hard wiring of a 4-year-old’s brain who has reached Defcon 1 on the meltdown counter because he will not clean up his room. Bassin’s 20-song album contains songs that groove with messages of calmness and peace. For example, in “Breathe In” she sings:
Breathe in and notice your body
Breathe out and calm your body
Open your heart and let others in
Intertwined with spoken-word quips from children like “When I take a deep breathe I feel calm” the song actually served as a relaxation peace (pun intended) for my own son who was battling with the challenge of transitioning from Legos to dinnertime. Titles such as “Bye, Bye Thoughts” and “Hugging Words” put many of the lectures we have with our children into extremely happy tunes.
As a parent, it’s very challenging and often frustrating to guide our children to follow good behavior and make smart decisions. Whether it’s sharing toys with a friend or finding a different coping mechanism with anger instead of launching a Matchbox car across the room and putting a nice little dent in the living room wall, Bassin’s album is chock filled with songs that can assist these situations through song. Another wonderful example lies within the track “Listening Within.” Bassin sings (and whistles) inspiring lyrics such as:
I’m in control of my situation
Now I’m mad
I might not be so mad later
I have the choice to make myself feel so much better
Bassin’s voice exudes happiness and an overall calmness in her songs. Backed by her guitar and some catchy, toe-tapping beats the album delivers a wonderful alternative to songs about building snowmen and listening to Elmo sing about splishing and splashing.