March 17, 2015 10:15 AM

Kelly Rowland is making sure to savor every moment with her 4-month-old son, Titan Jewell.

“The most surprising thing for me is how fast he is growing and how much joy he has given me,” the singer, 34, tells PEOPLE of her first child with husband Tim Weatherspoon.

Those little moments of joy have been especially meaningful for Rowland in the wake of her own mom’s unexpected death last December — just weeks after Titan was born in November.

“When he laughed for the first time, I cried,” says the former Destiny’s Child member, who debuts her baby boy on the cover of Essence magazine’s April issue.

“It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard,” she adds.

Kwaku Alston/ESSENCE

Kwaku Alston/ESSENCE

Of course, it seems that the sound of Rowland’s voice is what baby Titan finds most beautiful. “He absolutely loves music and likes when we dance and sing with him,” says Rowland, who shares her new mom duties with manager Weatherspoon, 41.

“I have to say whatever ‘baby challenge’ you put in front of Tim, he passes it with flying colors,” says Rowland. “He is just the best dad!”

There is, though, one task Rowland is most proud of mastering. “I love putting him to bed,” she says. “I’ve gotten so good at it!”

Kwaku Alston/ESSENCE

For more on Kelly Rowland and her son, pick up the April issue of Essence magazine

— Barbara Kimberly Seigel with reporting by Melody Chiu

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