Musical Notes with Melissa Pate
“Tradition means handing on all that is of value to the next generation.” -Henry Lewis Bullen
If you stop by Kensington Park’s Highlands building on a Tuesday afternoon, you might be greeted with the sound of singing coming from the bistro. You would hear young voices giggling in between songs and soft humming from residents trying to learn their singing part. This is the sound of Kensington Park’s first ever Intergenerational Choir. Students from Silver Creek Middle School joined our residents on Tuesday afternoons to sing and learn music that culminates in an end-of-the-semester performance. From the outside looking in, it may look like these folks are just singing, but there is so much more to it than that. Students learn patience as they realize our residents need more time to learn their parts, offering help if needed. Residents get the opportunity to educate the students on the pieces we’re singing, which are usually from their young adult years. We sing Bing Crosby, Irving Berlin, The Beatles, and then sometimes throw in some Jackson 5 to “meet in the middle” of the two generations. At our Spring performance on Tuesday, April 23rd, it was all smiles and laughter as we finished up our last song. Residents came up to me telling me how much fun it was to perform. Students flounced over to the cookie platter to reward themselves for a job well done. The group gives hugs as we say, “See you next year.” Audience members give a pat on the back to their fellow residents. It is a beautiful thing to bring two generations who could not be more different together to share experiences together through music.
Music Therapist, MT-BC & Creative Arts Supervisor