In senior residential and day programs across the country, people of all ages come together to sing, dance, shake shakers, and swing scarves during weekly Music Together intergenerational classes. As the children’s music-learning is nurtured, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their grownups also foster new and important relationships with "Musical Grandfriends." These unique and powerful classes are also greatly enjoyed by the seniors and staff. Seniors look forward to the children's lively visits, the chance to share memories, and the sheer fun of these playful music-making experiences. The additional cognitive, physical, and emotional benefits for both children and elders make the Generations class a win-win for all participants.
"On Monday morning the residents start asking: 'what time are the little ones coming?' It means so much for us to have members of the greater community come visit and bring joy and laughter to the enthralled senior citizens. Our residents have given so much to their communities, and to see it come back full circle is incredible. Although many are dealing with the difficulties of aging, during class they become as carefree as the children."
—Jacqueline Johnston, Engage Life Director at West 86th (An Atria Residence), New York NY
"My children love music. We used to attend a regular class and then decided to change to something new and they appreciated the warmth of the intergenerational setting. They especially loved the free-dance segment where they had a chance to meet and greet the residents. I like the idea of including intergenerational groups because children bring such a spark of sunshine even on the gloomiest of days to those who may not have young ones in their lives on a regular basis."
—Angie, parent in intergenerational class
"Everyone simply loves the class. A 96-year-old resident pointed out to a visiting mom and dad how much their younger child (who usually attends with his nanny) had developed during the months he had been attending. She also pointed out to me that two of the residents who were sitting on the couch were sleeping, and that I should... move them out of the way. She doesn't miss much!"
—Jean Young, Music Together Teacher, Larchmont NY