Breaking down intergenerational barriers through song and dance
19th August 2019
Benetas St George’s residents in Altona Meadows are being delighted by children from the local Hey Dee Ho Music early learning education program, breaking down intergenerational barriers over music, song and dance.
Attended by children aged five and under, Music Education Facilitator, Amy Crosbie, said it’s an increasingly popular program among children and residents alike.
“We used to hold one session every month, however we have since had to increase the frequency to two times each month due to the session’s popularity.
“Hey Dee Ho Music incorporates sing alongs, instruments, dance and props for nursery rhymes that resonate with the children, and old favourites, such as Que Sera, a favourite for all generations.
“It provides residents’ family members an activity should they visit with grandchildren, and an opportunity to share in the fun together.”
The program invites new mums and their children from the local community to participate, many of whom don’t have grandparents in their lives.
“It’s great to provide young families without intergenerational support, to come along and connect with people from a different generation,” Ms Crosbie said.
Ms Crosbie hails from the UK, and without parents nearby, brings her own child along to gain exposure to a different generation.
“I think we’ve had some children who’ve been quite fearful of older people. My daughter was hesitant at first to hand over instruments to some of the residents.
“Overtime she’s become very confident and loves all the attention she now gets from the residents. It’s really about breaking down barriers and building respect and acknowledgement for older people.”
The children aren’t the only ones benefitting, says Benetas’ St George’s Community Coordinator Carol Digna.
“One of the residents comes from a Maltese cultural background, and she stays and chats after the session with another new mum and her child who are also from a Maltese background,” she said.
“Another resident lit up when she met a nine-month old, and the two just connected. The resident spoke in her native language and the child was mesmerised.
“It’s truly remarkable watching them light up and engage with the children around.
“We have even had children from previous years that are now in primary school come back and visit with their class. The children just connect with our elders and it’s a bond that doesn’t go.”
The intergenerational program runs on the first Thursday of the month between 10-11am at Benetas’ St George’s residential aged care in Altona Meadows.
All residents and their families are welcome, as are new mothers and children in the local area. Space is limited, so bookings are essential.
To join, please contact Benetas Community Engagement Coordinator, Carol Digna at firstname.lastname@example.org