Alice, singing teacher

Parenthood, and perhaps especially new motherhood, brings such a mix of emotions and experiences. In my first few weeks as a mother, when I felt overwhelmed and isolated—among many other feelings—I asked my good friend Mélina what I could do with my infant to get out of the house, see other parents, feel connected again. At the top of her list was Hush-a-Bye Babies.

For years, Alice has led the wonderful music program for Ottawa parents and their babies, providing a fun, nurturing, relaxing space to learn rhymes and lullabies, visit with other young families, and sit out anytime to nurse, soothe or change. At every class, the lucky moms and dads also get to sample Alice’s homemade loaves, muffins and streusels.

All of that would be lovely enough. But what makes Hush-a-Bye such a special experience, and what made Mel recommend it to me first and foremost, is Alice. She’s one the kindest, most giving souls I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Whenever I mention her to other former Hush-a-Byes, they all say the same kind of thing: “Alice is fabulous.” “Alice nurtures parents as generously as she nurtures babies.” “I love Alice.”

When I think back on the list Mel sent me of Mom Must Dos, and Alice’s place at the top, it reminds me of another list—the one in the play Every Brilliant Thing, in which the protagonist comes up with all the things that make life worth living. Everything Alice offers through Hush-a-Bye Babies would easily make that list. They all fill you with warmth, goodness, nourishment and joy: her baking, her singing, herself.

(This painting comes courtesy of my little girl—her first Christmas card, made one year after becoming an official Hush-a-Bye grad. She still loves music. Thank you, Alice.)

By Amanda Sage, Kickass Canadians founder, Ottawa, Ontario


  1. Laura Waddell says:

    Alice is absolutely amazing!! She gave my babies nurturing and love. And more than that, she offered support to the community of new moms. She took care of the moms as much as the babes!
    Thank you Alice for being so generous with your kindness. Our time with you was special. ❤️

  2. kickasscanadians says:

    Great to hear your memories of Alice, Laura. It was lovely spending time with you and your girls at Hush-a-Bye!

  3. Alice Davidson says:

    Oh my goodness, Amanda!!!! What a surprise! I am humbled, flattered and somewhat emotional as I write this. When I was a young woman working in a big office, doing mundane work, feeling frustrated and searching for my path in life, I remember saying out loud: “Whatever I do, it has to matter, it has to be something meaningful to me and it has to make a difference.” Reading your entry today stops me in my tracks and fills me with gratitude, thank you.

  4. Katy Swan says:

    I didn’t try Hush-a-Bye with my first but am sorry I didn’t because it was such a lovely experience with my second. It was such a warm and inviting place because of Alice and I still sing some of her tunes… especially the “Pick it Up” song to encourage clean up!

  5. Emily says:

    Alice (and Hushabye) is an absolute lifesaver to a new parent. The support from her kindness, enchanting songs and baked goods were invaluable. She also opens up a world of connections for new moms often drowning in the isolation and suffering from the dull thump of exhaustion of baby parenting. The songs are still something my kids find soothing.

  6. Justine Price says:

    I think this is “our Alice.” She was at the play group in Sandy Hill we took Colleen to (’99 to ’02). Colleen adored her and so did we. So many supportive, wonderful words, and all that singing and play time. We all loved Alice. What a difference-maker – in early years for our children, and us as parents.

  7. Sonia Wesche says:

    What a great tribute to a wonderful woman who creates such warm and caring spaces for new mothers! We learned some great songs and rhymes at a pace where one could retain them. I made an extra effort to learn the three verses of Autumn Lullaby and my kids love it, 4.5 years later! Thank you, Alice, for all that you do for mothers and babes.

  8. Gwen Rushton says:

    Dear Alice,

    Your programs were such a highlight of my mat leaves. Thanks for all that you have done and continue to do for mothers/fathers and babies. Your LaLa song is magic! Thank you for caring for the adults as much as the children with your baking and snack/social time and always having time to chat after class. It was a special time and I will always remember it with gratitude.
    Love from Gwen, Allie and Finn

  9. kickasscanadians says:

    Thanks to all for sharing more happy memories of Alice and her class. 🙂 Keep ’em coming!

Leave a comment

You’re not a robot, right? Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.