Musical Mornings with Children

A group of elderly individuals and a caregiver enjoying a music session with a guitar player.

Another lovely event was held recently at Royal Freemasons Ballarat – this time with some of our youngest!

Timeless children’s songs and bright classics filled the room for the young and young-at-heart to share in a musical therapy session.

A small group of young families were the first to share in the special musical morning in what will now be a weekly visit for residents.

Carousel Music Therapy runs the event, giving older adults a chance to reminisce and connect with young children.

For resident Joyce, words to the tunes came back surprisingly quick to her, but she mostly loved the energy from young families having fun in the room.

“It’s a wonderful mix. They’re all so lovely. Everyone’s interested in everyone else,” Joyce said.
Children share their instruments with residents but the highlight was hitting balloons to each other during The Chordette’s Lollipop and the bubble machine during I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.
Carousel founder and director Imogen Rees was impressed with how quickly Ballarat families had embraced the community concept. The program has a waiting list but has been kept to a small group so as not to overwhelm residents or children.

Imogen is a music therapist who developed the program when working in aged care and noticing the change in dynamics when child relatives would come to visit.

“There’s a beautiful and unique response to the music,” she said. “Nursery rhymes are so timeless, everybody knows them. Even residents who may be in advanced stages of dementia and might not be able to string a sentence together, but they know the tune from when they were young.”

Almost all Royal Freemasons Ballarat residents turned out for the first session – some even cancelled their popular hair salon appointments to attend. They can hardly wait to reconnect with their new little friends via song.

Article source: The Ballarat Courier M Whelan, June 2 2018

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