• Aimee Spencer Tiemann


Art by Emily Rose

As we move into week three of quarantine, so many celebrities and musicians are stepping up and performing live on social media.

DJ D Nice owned the non-COVID-19 headlines last week with his nine-hour house party. Garth Brooks broke the internet with his live performance. And tonight, Fox presents the I Heart Living Room Concert for America with Elton John - a surefire hit.

In this hysterical time, artists and musicians are uniting to bring sparks of joy and hope. Here in Detroit, three singer-songwriters started a movement the first week we all went into our homes with Lullabies from Detroit.

With billions of people sequestered in their homes, the need for community and comfort sparked an idea in Michele Oberholtzer. She then brought it to Audra Kubat and Emily Rose.

“I’ve had a fascination with the idea of lullabies for a long time,” Oberholtzer shared. “My mom often sang me to sleep as a child. I remember thinking her voice was the most beautiful voice in the world.”

What You Didn’t Know About Lullabies

Singing people to sleep works. But why? Parent suggested three reasons lullabies work:

  1. They help regulate the emotions of the baby or child

  2. They foster a stronger bond between child and parent

  3. Lullabies help establish a regular routine

How ironic the three reasons lullabies work so well are all things we’re searching for as adults in our endless days right now. We need ways to regulate our emotions. We’re seeking ways to maintain stronger bonds with humans. And we want normalcy, which is often found in routine.

Lullabies from Detroit

“When it became clear that the pandemic was going to deeply and directly affect our lives, my desire to perform a concert of lullabies became more urgent. But it also became less possible in the traditional 'concert' sense. So, it would need to happen online, as so many other artists have modeled,” Oberholtzer shared.

“I reached out to Audra Kubat and Emily Rose, who are incredible artists with a certain sincerity and an intentionality to their music that I thought was exactly right for lullabies. Together, we built this idea into a platform for nightly music and a community with other artists who both give and receive comfort. It’s amazing to hear how different artists interpret the idea of lullabies.”

The three ladies have fond memories of lullabies throughout their childhood and were eager to share their favorite soothing songs.

Oberholtzer’s is “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins.

“Heart of my Heart” by Ben Ryan is Kubat’s favorite. “I can still remember my grandpa singing it to me,” she said with a smile.

As for Rose, she fondly remembers dancing to “Cry on My Shoulder,” by Bonnie Raitt.

Join In

Every night of the week, a different musician from Metro Detroit plays soothing music. Styles differ and can include everything from acapella to instrumental. Music begins at 10 p.m. Eastern on Facebook.

The ladies regularly post updates to the coming weeks schedule of new performers. This week’s schedule includes:

March 29th - Tau Owens

March 30th - Mike Ward

March 31st - Spoo Willoughby

April 1st - Caitlin Drinkard

April 2nd - Ally Evenson

April 3rd - Monte Pride

April 4th - Rocketman XiX

Artists haven’t taken requests, but Oberholtzer said, “It’s an interactive platform, so it’s likely to happen.”

Isn’t it time to tune out the nonstop news cycle and make room for some peace, even if it’s only 20 minutes a day?

Art by Emily Rose