Reutlinger Community Residents are bonding with babies and toddlers through music-making, created by the international award-winning early childhood music program MUSIC TOGETHER®.
Rowena Morgan, Director of Music Together Tri-Valley, explains, “This is a highlight of the week for many senior residents as well as the staff. Some participants simply light up when they come to class in ways the facility doesn’t see with any other activity. The combination of music and children is just magical. Each elder participates in their own way: Some grandfriends actively absorb the experience, clearly delighting in watching and listening; others love singing along, tapping their feet and shaking the instruments along with the families. And although most elders sing and dance from their chairs, some are even able to get up and boogie with us! The children and parents love it, too; it’s become an important weekly ritual and an invaluable part of their family’s life. There is an instant connection between elders and families that is incredible to witness. For many of the families as well as many of the elder participants, extended family live far away and so there is a kind of surrogate family created through the Music Together class. Music Together directors like myself are so proud to be bringing people together across generations in our communities. We are bringing back something essential that’s been lost: intergenerational music-making.”
Music is an essential part of being human. Support for music learning in early childhood can yield both life-long skill and enjoyment in music experiences. While Music Together’s core program serves families with children ages 0-5, it’s a natural extension of that core mission to include intergenerational class experiences where families attend class with elders at a senior day or residential facility. These special kinds of Music Together classes have been beloved now for years as more and more communities recognize the unique power of making music together across generations.
Rowena Morgan adds, “Strangers or not, within minutes everyone is part of our music-making family in a Generations Class. The idea that music bonds people is never more obvious and meaningful than during the time we spend at The Reutlinger.”