On Friday 3rd February, Lakeview Lodge Care Home in Milton Keynes welcomed the BBC for the filming of their ongoing Intergenerational Music project with year 6 pupils from the Water Hall Primary School and (IMM) Intergenerational Music Making The initiative is funded by Comic Relief and will be featured on the BBC’s Red Nose Day fundraising evening on 17th March.
The sessions are hosted at Lakeview Lodge Care Home in Bletchley where residents are joined by year 6 pupils from Water Hall Primary school to enjoying making music together. Each session is led by Musical Lead Mary from (IMM). She encourages students and pupils to sing, chant or clap along to the rhythm of the music. Before their first session, Mary encouraged pupils and residents to write notes to each other to form the foundations of their newfound friendship.
Laura from the Intergenerational Music Making commented.
“Intergenerational Music Making (www.imm-music.com) is a national not-for-profit organisation which delivers programmes, training, campaigning & research to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the old and the young in communities across the UK, through the power of music.
We work closely with care homes, schools, hospitals, musicians and creatives, sharing our unique expertise to deliver and embed a culture of intergenerational practice.”
So far, the pupils have joined residents for a total of five music sessions with their last session due to take place later this month. Throughout the sessions, the residents of Lakeview Lodge and pupils of Water Hall have bonded over their shared interest in music and formed new friendships, which they hope to continue once the project is over.
Betty, who is a resident living at Lakeview Lodge, shared her thoughts on the intergenerational project.
“I feel lucky to be a resident at Lakeview during this time. The lady who leads the session is so energetic and vibrant. The songs and beats became familiar once you heard the music. You just forget where you are and get involved with it.”
Louise, the daughter of a resident, also commented on the impact it has had on her mother.
“Music is so great for dementia it taps into your memory and mum will remember the words; I often play music for mum when she visits.
When I came for the first session, I was so impressed. One thing that is particularly lovely for mum is she was a teacher growing up, so being in that setting is great. She used to lead all the drama production with the school children.”
The project is close to the hearts of many staff members at Lakeview who attended the Water Hall Primary School as pupils themselves, including Home Manager Claire Hedge who commented.
“It has been a huge pleasure and a privilege to participate in the Intergenerational project with IMM and Water Hall School. The relationships the residents of Lakeview Lodge have established very quickly with the children who have been participating in the project is marvellous and mutually beneficial to all.
The self-confidence of the children has grown week by week, when the children arrive, they are looking for their friends at Lakeview Lodge.
Many employees at Lakeview Lodge have children who attend Water Hall School and have been taking part in the project. The project has been a great community links initiative I look forward to many more.”
Residents from Lakeview Lodge hope to continue their relationship with Water Hall pupils by starting a new gardening project with the school later this year.