Jammin' across generations - "bigs" & "littles" share positive energy
One of our many programs here at Area 10 is supporting our senior community center called the Endwright Center. Amazing programming to support the holistic aging process, the Endwright Center engaged local musical Nathan Dillon a few years ago to begin teaching strings to older adults. In the past year, Nathan simultaneously has been teaching strings to elementary school students at a couple of local schools. As he interacted with both groups separately, he realized how much younger folks needed and didn't have positive interactions with older adults and vice versa! The idea of bringing the two groups together to "jam" with same songs they have begun to learn separately was born. The impact was palpable in the room. Taking that inspiration, Dillon continued to keep some momentum and brought the two groups together again, this time at the elementary school. Reciprocation happened through more than just exchange of location; this time the "littles" spent time beforehand making snacks to share with the "bigs" after jamming.
The Endwright Center supports this extension of creative expression through music into the intergenerational enrichment experience it is. But, we don't have funding to support it. There is much potential for extending the experience to other elementary schools in the area as well as future performance. Last fall, we highlighted the guitar group at a local United Way "talent show," which the Mayor of Bloomington attended. He, months later, invited our intergenerational group to perform at this year's State of the City speech in the local theatre.
We want to support the costs of Nathan's time to prepare for and conduct instruction at both school and Endwright locations, preferably twice weekly, with monthly jam session gatherings. Transporting our older adults and instruments requires contracting with the local transit provider. Increasing the positive experiences of "littles" with "bigs" will increase the self-esteem and curiosity, as well as enhance the lesson of listening for the students. And, for the "bigs" the energy and joy infused into their lives will give them greater sense of value and contribution to our community, and also counter the ill effects of social isolation that is so prevalent in the lives of older adults.
A private nonprofit organization dedicated to older adults and persons with disabilities, Area 10 Agency on Aging does a lot of amazing things to support the holistic aging process. One great service ...read more
The mission of Area 10 Agency on Aging is to serve as a leader in providing resources, solutions and connections for seniors, persons with disabilities and family caregivers living in Monroe and Owen ...read more