The Living Home Orchestra project at Mount Tryon has now sadly come to an end after six weeks. It has been a lovely project to be part of, particularly in watching the children grow in confidence in the relationships that they are building with the older adults around them.
It’s important to recognise that although intergenerational projects offer so much to the participants, we do need to get better at reflecting more specifically upon projects & their impact so that we can then detail the specific things that come from them; this then helps to secure funding for future projects & partnerships.
These are some of the comments and reflections that I have received from participants so far with regard to this project:
“ This child is a confident child but has grown in confidence in other ways during the last six weeks. He has learnt to take a moment and wait, listen, then do. He listens intently to instructions that are given during the session, when to start playing & when to stop…this has been a new and very meaningful experience for him.”
“ E (14 months old) loves the residents talking to her and looking/feeling her tiny hands. She is relaxed in the sessions, smiley & happy. Though only young I have seen changes in her confidence & interactions with others.”
“They [the children] do not notice the wheelchairs now, just the person as an individual.”
“This has helped our children to feel more confident when in the company of older adults.”
Reflections from those leading the sessions include the following:
– The role that the physical environment has in actually bringing people together or not.
– When running projects for only six weeks means that we are stopping just as relationships are developing and we are missing the magic that would naturally follow on. Should we run projects for longer?
– The importance of having support from care home staff not only in ensuring that the adults arrive on time but that they are then able to stay for the session so that they can maximise the engagement of the residents.
Having observed for myself the empowerment that comes from holding a conducting baton, for both the old & the young, giving them responsibility for the music that comes from the orchestra, this needs to be the focus of our next project.