Guest blog: Bringing generations together through music

Emily Abbott, programme director for Intergenerational Music Making and Together with Music, outlines the aims of an exciting new project.

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.
While life is currently filled with many challenges, obstacles, rules and restrictions, Together with Music provides unique and creative ways to support those most vulnerable: social distancing does not mean social isolation!

We have encouraged care homes across the UK to sign up to the programme - through music and the act of music making, they can make sustainable and creative connections.

It starts with a song

Together with Music begins with participants virtually exchanging a song. Our participants record themselves playing instruments and singing songs, and their ‘connection’ responds in turn with their own songs in an intergenerational musical conversation. They will then have the chance to broaden their activities with shared messages of hope, pen-pal relationships and more songs, with the relationship culminating in an intergenerational meet and greet (virtual or in person when restrictions allow), bringing the older and younger generations together. 
You can register on the Together with Music website as a music group, and then a 'connector' will get in touch to introduce you to the project. They will let you know how to submit a recording of a song, and in turn you will receive a song from someone at one of the care homes that have signed up to the project. Once you're signed up, you will receive personal support from your local connector. You'll also have access to the Member Zone, complete with creative resources, live workshops, coffee mornings, and a support network to help encourage the use of music in building strong community connections.

We also welcome individuals to get involved through our volunteer programme – email for more information.

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