By Robin Clutters

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Researchers and musicians at the University of Colorado are working together to connect families. Through the Lullaby Project, families get to create and sing their own lullabies for their babies with the help of professional musicians. Researchers then study the effects of the music on the mental health of children and their parents.

(credit: CU Boulder)

Grace Law is a graduate student in the College of Music and is the music director for the Colorado Lullaby Project.

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“It really is gratifying for us to engage with our communities and feel like our art has a purpose in more than the music halls. We can utilize every part of our skills to work with families and see how this plays a role in their lives.”

Musicians and parents first meet in a group session before having one-on-one time. During the individual meetings, artists will talk to a family to discuss what kind of lullaby they want to write.

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(credit: CU Boulder)

“We fill out the vision that a parent has to make the lullaby come to life,” says Law. “We have a lot of lullabies that aren’t the traditional calm and soothing things you might think. We have a lot of lullabies that are fun, upbeat things to get a toddler focused.”

According to CU Boulder, nearly 100% of parents who completed the program reported a positive experience. Researchers found families showed improvements in social connections and decreased loneliness. The lullabies also improved symptoms of depression and anxiety. The Lullaby Project has been so successful, it has even turned into a course that music students at CU can take.

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(credit: CU Boulder)

“We can continue to serve more families in our community and create engagement that we often don’t get in a traditional classical music scene,” says Law. “This allows people to be involved in music and understand how we can all work together.”

Robin Clutters