St. Augustine Health Ministries is excited to announce their collaboration with the Beck Center for the Arts for an Intergenerational Music Therapy program. Through a grant funded by the McGregor Foundation, residents of long-term care and young children served by the Child Enrichment Center will benefit from a weekly therapy session with certified music therapists that will include sing-alongs, dance, and instrument play.
When explaining the benefits that the Intergenerational Music Therapy program has on the students of the Child Enrichment Center, Stephanie Moore, the center’s director, explains, “Children are scared of things they don’t know and those fears will continue through life if they are not given the opportunity to overcome them. For instance, children tend to be fearful of people that are different from themselves. A person in a wheelchair, someone who is missing a limb, or someone who is much older may cause fear. If given the opportunity in a setting that is comfortable and inviting, the child will see that those people are not something to be fearful of, but that they are just like them.”
“Intergenerational Music Therapy gives our residents a sense of purpose. It improves life satisfaction by decreasing loneliness and boredom. It can even decrease depression and improve physical, psychological and cognitive well-being,” says Christine Deardowski, a music specialist in the Recreation Therapy Department at St. Augustine.
The Intergenerational Music Therapy sessions will take place every Tuesday morning through August. A special evening session is planned for Wednesday, July 30, for residents and their visiting caregivers to learn about the benefits of the program’s intergenerational groups.