Home Activities ‘TOGETHER WITH MUSIC’ Aims to lift winter spirits through intergenerational connections and the sharing of music

‘TOGETHER WITH MUSIC’ Aims to lift winter spirits through intergenerational connections and the sharing of music

by Lisa Carr

Care England in partnership with Intergenerational Music Making are launching Together with Music a new project to lift the spirits of thousands of care home residents this winter. This initiative will strengthen and build upon links between education, health and community organisations adopting music as a conduit for sharing cultural heritage, providing a physical and emotional bond and enhancing individual identity for the young and old.

Hundreds of care homes are expected to join in this project that links them to local schools and youth groups using the power of music and the Internet.  This will reduce the isolation that has been created by COVID-19 restrictions.

All homes will be matched to a local school or youth group. Both the care home residents and the young people will choose songs that are meaningful to them and share them with each other. This musical introduction will act as a vehicle into further connection, creativity and stronger community links across England.

Music has been recognised as an effective way of engaging people including those with dementia which make up a large proportion of care home residents. This project builds on the impact of the BBC Music for Dementia initiative in September as part of World Alzheimer’s Month.

An initial programme ‘Musical Conversations’ run by IMM with MHA showed the transformative value of these musical connections. One resident commented, “Music is so powerful and it’s been really uplifting receiving personalised messages from the most wonderful children. Long may it continue!”

Together with Music will build virtual connections between care homes and their local communities through the winter months when so many are feeling isolated, depressed and disconnected. Through music and the act of music making, we aim to raise awareness, establish links and in turn, tackle loneliness, isolation and promote sustainable socialising for those most vulnerable. This campaign will encourage community partnerships and empower care staff, teachers and community members to play an active role in their neighbourhoods. Through connection and collaboration, we will build strong, creative and resilient communities and offer both the young and the old an opportunity to explore, develop and come together in music.

Launch care provider partners are Barchester Healthcare, Hallmark Care Homes and MHA. The project has been made possible with funding from Tunstall Healthcare and the Hallmark Care Homes Foundation along with supporting contributions from Oomph!, Zenergi and CoolCare.

Professor Martin Green, CEO Care England said:
“Care homes are especially mindful of the need to consider the emotional and spiritual well being of residents whilst restrictions are in place to protect them from Covid-19. This project will bring a ray of sunshine to thousands of lives and help counter feelings of isolation during the winter months.”

IMM Director, Charlotte Miller, said:
We are thrilled that we are partnering with Care England in this exciting intergenerational campaign. Together with Music will connect young people with care home residents through music to raise awareness, establish links and in turn, tackle loneliness, isolation and promote sustainable socialisation for those most vulnerable. It shall be through these magical connections and collaborations that Together with Music will build strong, creative and resilient communities. It starts with a song!”

Avnish Goyal, Chair of Care England, Hallmark Care Homes and the Hallmark Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to be involved in this initiative, music plays a huge part in all of our lives and has so many benefits for people living with dementia. We are sure this campaign will spread a lot of joy this winter and further strengthen the great relationships we have with our local communities. We are looking forward to seeing the impact this work will have in the coming weeks.”

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