5 Reasons Your Family Should Participate in Intergenerational Music Experiences

As a board-certified music therapist, I have a passion for fostering connections across generations. There can be profound impact on families who participate in intergenerational music experiences. Imagine: You’re a mom juggling the demands of raising young children and/or school-age kids, all while grappling with the challenge of maintaining meaningful connections with your aging parent residing in an eldercare facility. The struggle is real, and help may just lie in the harmonious world of intergenerational music making.

1. Bridging Generational Gaps

Research consistently highlights the power of music as a universal language that transcends age barriers. Engaging in music activities with older adults significantly enhances the emotional well-being of both children and seniors. Experts in music therapy often emphasize the ability of music to create a shared space for expression and understanding. Building bridges between generations.

2. Fostering Emotional Bonds

In our fast-paced lives, finding moments of genuine connection can be challenging. Music provides a unique avenue for emotional expression and bonding. Studies in the Journal of Applied Gerontology reveal that intergenerational music activities enhance the emotional connection between children and their grandparents. Offering a shared, joyful experience that contributes to a sense of family unity.

3. Cognitive Benefits for All Ages

Participating in music activities has been linked to cognitive benefits for individuals of all ages. For seniors facing cognitive challenges like dementia or Alzheimer’s, engaging in music can stimulate memory recall and improve overall cognitive function. Incorporating music into the lives of those with dementia can have a positive impact on their cognitive abilities, according to studies published in Neurology.

4. Creating Lasting Memories

In the chaos of daily life, carving out moments to create lasting memories becomes increasingly important. Intergenerational music experiences offer a unique opportunity for families to build cherished memories together. Research in the Journal of Research in Music Education highlights how participation in music activities contributes to the formation of positive, shared memories between different generations.

5. Encouraging Physical Activity and Social Engagement

Beyond emotional and cognitive benefits, intergenerational music making often involves movement and physical activity. For young children, this provides an opportunity for outlet of energy in a positive controlled way. Additionally, engaging in music activities within eldercare facilities encourages seniors to be physically active and socially engaged. The energy of the children can’t help but contribute to huge smiles, hand clapping, and improved overall well-being for the adults in the room.

Taking the First Step

Now that we’ve explored the compelling reasons to embrace intergenerational music experiences, the next step is to consider how your family can benefit from such connections. Reach out to the eldercare facility where your loved ones reside and inquire about the possibility of initiating intergenerational music activities. Whether it’s an early childhood music class or a cross generational choir experience for older children/teens and parents. The transformative power of music awaits, creating lasting bonds that transcend the boundaries of age.

Intergenerational Opportunities with Harmony Garden

  • Intergenerational Sprouts Music Classes with Thome Pace – This class is offered FREE to families in Jackson who want to enroll. Thome Pace finds this program incredibly motivating for their participants. The “grandfriends” love meeting the youngest family members. This class is for children age birth through 6yrs old and their parents.
  • Intergenerational Choir – Our music therapy intern piloted a program with Vista Grande Villa and Jackson College to run two 4wk intergenerational choir experience for their seniors. We would love to work more with facilities and parent groups to expand this project into something that runs more often! Email admin@hgmusictherapy.com to enquire.