Girls from the Nursery at St George’s School for Girls in Edinburgh have been learning songs and rhymes to participate in an inter-generational music initiative, RSNO Generations, run by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
As regular visitors to Murrayfield House Care Home, the Nursery were delighted to be invited by the Care Home to join their residents as a pilot group of nursery-aged children and the elderly working together in a series of interactive orchestral music workshops.
The project pilot, which has been funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery through Postcode Community Trust and by the Lendrum Charitable Trust, aims to use orchestral music to improve the social and emotional health of the elderly by encouraging social interactions between the generations when they spend time together singing and playing games.
Lisa Nettleton, Head of St George’s Nursery, commented: “Introducing our nursery children to the joy of music is an important part of our preschool curriculum. Our girls have loved getting to know residents, spending more time with the older generation, and by singing and playing musical instruments with them. It has enhanced the girls’ social and personal development as well as introducing them to some of the musical instruments used in an orchestra. A truly enriching experience for all of us.”
A spokesperson from Murrayfield House said: “The combination of live music, well-known songs and young children transformed the room. Lots of toe-tapping and smiles all around. Our residents were highly engaged and communicative with the children. They looked forward to the sessions every week, and having the children on site helps make the residents feel more at home. It does wonders for them overall.”
“The music gets everyone involved”, says Samantha Campbell, Head of Learning and Engagement at RSNO. “It’s designed to appeal to everyone from the youngest to the oldest. Participants enjoy the music sessions with both parties benefiting from the interactions across the ages. There is a feeling of enthusiasm and rejuvenation enjoyed by everyone.”
The RSNO is hoping to secure more funding to extend the programme.