Monday, January 18, 2016

Intergenerational Music Together

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge 4-year-old Iggy enjoys Music Together with young and old classmates at the Thompson House - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • 4-year-old Iggy enjoys Music Together with young and old classmates at the Thompson House

Hello, everybody! A certain favorite children’s music classes are bringing it to the Thompson House in Rhinebeck for a weekly discounted series that will warm your heart and make it sing. Keeping with traditional Music Together form which intersperses call-and-response singing, movement, and jam sessions on simple wind and percussion instruments, the new class series adds an element. While the little kids play in a central circle with their caregivers, there’s an outer circle of elderly glee. Kids smile as old women wave, and classmates of varying ages form bonds while shaking shakers and singing songs.

In 1987, Music Together, an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program, pioneered the concept of a research-based music curriculum for children from birth through age seven that emphasizes the involvement of the adults who love them. Classes are based on the idea that all children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports it.

Building on the idea that music can connect generations, Catskill Mountain Music Together Director, Miranda Haydn, ran an Intergenerational Class for years at the Ivy Lodge, an assisted living facility for the elderly in Saugerties. “We had our regulars who really came to class first and foremost for the kids, but also for the music,” Haydn recalls. It was a good experience for all, so Haydn was delighted when Allison Gould, Social Worker for the Center for Healthy Aging, asked if Haydn might offer an Intergenerational Class at The Thompson House, a Nursing & Custodial Care Center at Northern Dutchess Hospital. “Music is a perfect way to bridge the gap between generations because it’s reaches beyond our daily limits to the core of our beings. Anyone in any phase of life can benefit from the pleasure of music and music-making,” Haydn says.

“This is the cycle of life, and those at either end of the spectrum are inextricably connected,” says Gould. “There’s a natural wisdom in the eyes of a child, and there’s a learned wisdom in the hearts of our elders. Yet somehow we’ve lost opportunities for connections between these kindred spirits. Intergenerational programs are making a difference in helping us find them again.”

“Over my 25+ year career,” says Sue Close, Manager of Public and Community Affairs at the Thompson House, “I've learned that music, children and pets can be the best medicine. To see our residents' faces light up, their smiles, and their toes tapping makes me extremely grateful to Miranda, the parents, and the children!”

It started last week and doesn’t meet on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or President’s Day, but the 8-class series has a few spots left.

Intergenerational Class at The Thompson House, 6525 Spring Brook Avenue, Rhinebeck: for children ages 0-7 and the adults who love them; Mondays 3:45 pm; $133.00 for the first child, $70.00 for the second. For more information or to enroll, contact Miranda Haydn,, 845-657-2600. Or go to and click the Registration button.
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