Guest blog for Make Music Day UK by Vicki Smith, Together with Music
Bringing generations together through music…
Together with Music is a virtual, intergenerational programme that connects schools, community groups and creatives to their local care homes and older people through music. An innovative partnership between Care England and Intergenerational Music Making (IMM), the project seeks to tackle loneliness and isolation, supporting those living with dementia and creating stronger, healthier, intergenerational communities across the UK.
Through music and the act of music making, sustainable and creative connections can be made which will, in turn, build stronger and more integrated communities for years to come. Whilst life is currently filled with many challenges and obstacles, rules and restrictions Together with Music provides unique and creative ways to support those most vulnerable. Social distancing does not mean isolation.
Care homes, schools, community groups and faith groups across the UK are encouraged to sign up to the programme to build on or expand links in their communities.
It starts with a song…
The Together with Music relationship begins with the virtual exchange of a song. Our participating members record themselves playing instruments and singing songs, and the older care home residents respond in turn with their own songs in an intergenerational musical conversation. Activities then broaden out with shared messages of hope, penpal relationships and more songs, and culminate with an intergenerational meet and greet (virtual or in person when restrictions allow) bringing the older and younger together. This journey of connection is overseen by a regional team of TwM Connectors who are there to help support and facilitate connections between members making it a truly tailor made journey.
It couldn’t be simpler to become a member!
- Sign up today
- Await approval of your membership and introduction from your TwM Connector
- Share your song!
Together with Music now has over 750 members across the UK. Recently, a TwM member who is a Care Home Wellbeing Coordinator commented, “We now have an ongoing thriving relationship with a local Primary School …We can’t praise Together with Music highly enough and are thoroughly enjoying our connection that they have helped to facilitate.”
Looking ahead to the summer months, Together with Music have launched their ‘Summer of Song’ initiative encouraging members to get outside and make some music together! Joining in with Make Music Day, members will also be encouraged to take part in Window Serenades on 21 June, along with all those participating up and down the UK!
TwM was recently featured on Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston & Amanda Holden. You can listen to the interview here!
George is a resident at a care home that is part of the MHA group. MHA are wonderful at offering their residents access to music therapy and in George’s case he has been able to use these sessions to express himself and communicate to all through music. George’s care home heard about Together with Music and signed up as a member and so began a journey of intergenerational connection…. With the encouragement and support of his Music Therapist, Lori, George wrote and performed his very own song that tells a story of what it is like to live with Dementia.
A primary school local to George’s home also signed up to Together with Music and were immediately connected together. The children were so struck by George’s song, they wanted to write and record a response back to him. Listen to their songs below and be inspired by this meaningful intergenerational connection!
This is what Together with Music is all about – bringing the young and old together through music to create stronger and healthier communities for years to come!
– Vicki Smith, Together with Music