This Sprouting Melodies class brings together the generations for music making that benefits everyone! For the young children, they are able to learn from their elders and explore and grow in a supportive environment. The seniors who participate are able to benefit from the energy, openness, communication and joy that come from making music with young people. This group can be held in a variety of community settings and residences for seniors.
Intergenerational music classes incorporate singing, playing instruments, moving to music, cognitive stimulation, education, self-care, support, structured social interaction, and fun with multiple generations. Meet other seniors, caregivers, parents, and children.
What Have Previous Participants of Intergenerational Music Classes Had to Say About Them?
From a Facility Perspective: How Did Intergenerational Music Classes Benefit the Residents?
“My residents looked forward to the intergenerational music classes. I was often asked, “Is today the day the babies come?” and if it wasn’t the day they counted down the days. The residents talked about the children after for days saying, “did you see the way that one smiled or how much bigger she/he is getting!” They honestly looked forward to the classes and went through with drawl when we were on break! They couldn’t wait until January when the babies came again!
One of my residents nearly always sleeps in her wheelchair and never looks up. During the classes she was alert, smiling and interacting with the children. The fellow residents pointed that fact out to me every time we had the class and say how wonderful it is that the babies make her happy.”
Megan Mulder – Assisted Living Program Coordinator
From a Parent’s Perspective: Why Join
Intergenerational Music Classes?
“I thought the class was beneficial to both the seniors at the nursing home and the children. As soon as the seniors saw the children, their faces lit up. My baby loved the extra attention from the seniors–playing with the scarves together, rolling balls back and forth, and enjoying the music together.
It was fun watching the interaction between the residents and the babies. Some residents mentioned that they had not held a baby in years. It was fun to see the seniors participate in the class–playing with the musical instruments, scarves, and children. I enjoyed getting to know the residents at the nursing home.
After the classes started, I saw several of the seniors in the hall when I visit my Mom-they were so excited to see my children. Since I have spent so much time at nursing homes, I have noticed that many residents don’t have visitors–they loved seeing children. Even the people with dementia will smile and “come alive” when they have children around. The class benefited the seniors, babies and parents attending the class.”
Nancy Sinykin –Parent
From a Parent’s Perspective: How Did Intergenerational Music Classes Enhance Child Development?
“The intergenerational music classes far exceeded my expectations for our son. We saw his rhythm, music and verbal skills improve each week with participation in the classes and with practice with the take home books, CDs, and instruments. Often, we found him gently humming his songs while he played by himself.
Even more important than advancement of his musical skills, we saw a wonderful development of his social skills as well. Others notice too. People at our church often compliment him on how comfortable he is with people of all ages. He interacts with the babies all the way up to the most elderly; he is comfortable around people with physical and mental disability. He even loves walkers and wheelchairs — he always wants to ride on board.
This is what made me the proudest, the way music helped his social side flourish!”
Cathy Kolwey –Parent
From a Parent’s Perspective: Parent Resources: Why Begin Music Classes With Young Children?
“I didn’t know how much fun we’d have or how useful music classes would be for my daughter until I started attending classes. We use the songs all the time at home and I use them in the car when we are driving and she starts to cry, she gets a huge smile. There is a song that goes with almost everything. I met parents, which are huge resources for me! It is great to know other parents with children the same age as your little one.
The funny thing is that I didn’t think babies this little would be ready for this sort of thing and I couldn’t imagine it before we went. This was just the age though to introduce music and dancing to children. She absolutely loved it. Babies this age love movement and I wouldn’t have even thought to do some of the things we do if I hadn’t attended these classes. My parents went to classes as well. They love to sing and dance with her too. My dad has a great voice – who knew! He never sang to me this way. Wow – very cool.”
Michelle Lenhart –Parent
“This is the most active I have seen residents in a long time. They really seem to be having fun!”
Nurse Manager at Nursing Home