Intergenerational Music Group (Royal Freemasons)

Music in Communities Awards Finalist: 2012

Location: Melbourne, VIC


Intergenerational IMG 9912 420wA Registered Music Therapist, Imogen Rees, found the perfect way to engage residents at this aged care facility in music – bring in the kids! The Intergenerational Music Group invites families of the residents to sing songs (including familiar children’s songs), giving children exposure to and positive experiences with older adults.

One resident was struggling in other activities provided at the facility, due to dementia. Bingo, cooking, craft, even movie afternoons had been too confusing and unsatisfying for her. As a result, she spends a lot of time in her room asleep, shuffling around in her wheelchair and trying to get out, or calling out in distress and aggression.

In the intergenerational music group she transforms, clearly familiar with the music used and participating confidently in singing, instrument playing and movement to music activities. The familiar songs from her past life – as well as the children at play around her - often trigger fond memories leading to discussions with others about parenthood and family life. She becomes alert, relaxed, and jokes around with the other participants.