In Music Together® Generations classes, teachers and families foster meaningful musical relationships across the ages, as “Musical Grandfriends” join the music-making circle. Expanding the class community in this way enriches the experience for families and makes these classes some of the most satisfying to teach.
Regardless of age, spirits are lifted, learning across multiple domains is stimulated, and meaningful connections are made. Children and families, especially those without extended family nearby, discover the value of intergenerational relationships and become more comfortable engaging with older adults. Elder participants enjoy witnessing children’s joyful music-making and find a sense of purpose in being a part of young children’s learning, which combats isolation and depression. The partner facility is grateful to be able to offer a cutting-edge, high-quality intergenerational program to its residents. Plus, teachers reach new levels of skill and enjoyment in their work. A win-win for all!
One teacher shares:
"There is so much joy, so much love, and so much laughter in a Generations Class from the residents, the children and the parents and caregivers. From a little girl who reaches out her arms to get a hug from a 'grandma,' to the beautiful combination of all voices—young, old, and in between—singing 'My Bonnie,' during the lullaby, the sense of joy and harmonious interaction is magnificent. There is nothing else like it."
How is this class different from your regular mixed-age classes? This class looks very much like our regular mixed-age classes. The activities and curriculum are identical to what you will find in mixed-ages. The difference is that we're bringing the classes to a new setting; one with elders and their caregivers.Classes are typically held in residential facilities, such as independent living, assisted living, or nursing homes, or in day programs, such as senior centers or intergenerational day care programs with preschool classes. Elders are invited, but never pressured, to participate in class, with the support of an on-site staff member, and are respected as important music models.