Helping children and older adults connect: Breaking down barriers and stereotypes with music

On Friday January 24, 2020, the Village of Riverside Glen long-term care home in Guelph hosted a “Lunch-and-Learn” event to showcase their innovative intergenerational music therapy program and discuss the benefits of the program for residents and members of the community.

MPP Mike Schreiner was on hand to congratulate the Village team members and research partners from the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and hear more about how the $20,500 OTF Seed grant facilitated evaluation of the Intergenerational Jamboree.

“Sincerest congratulations to the Intergenerational Music Therapy program.  It is so wonderful to see such important connections being nurtured across generations through music,” said Mike Schreiner, MPP for Guelph.  “The excitement and curiosity of babies and toddlers, and the patience and wisdom of our seniors, is a natural and mutually nurturing match. I am grateful to The RIA for bringing this program to our community.”

Professor Kate Dupuis, Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts and Aging at Sheridan College, evaluated the program over a period of five months. Her findings show what Carrie Perkins, Director of Recreation at the Village and Kathy Lepp, a music therapist there, already knew anecdotally – the program they created provided opportunities for the residents to engage in purposeful music making, which led to improvements in alertness and engagement, and positive social interactions with the young children and their fellow residents.

“This Ontario Trillium Foundation grant gave us the opportunity to evaluate an existing program at the Village of Riverside Glen, and provide evidence for the impact of the program on residents, team members, and children from the local community,” said Dupuis. “We will be presenting findings from this collaboration at upcoming conferences and through publications in scientific journals.”

 

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