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Song Ties

Age Friendly Ireland

Monaghan County Council Logo

Programme: Monaghan

WHO Theme: Respect And Social Inclusion, Social Participation

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Switching Off And Being Creative

Funding Stream: Creative Ireland Programme

Resources Required: Financial, Paid Staff, Premises, Volunteer Staff, Technology and Broadband

Cost: 1000-5000


Song Ties is an intergenerational arts project which aims to connect residents of Castleross Nursing Home with children from a local primary school class in a virtual song exchange and performance. Over the course of four to five weeks, a focused group of four care home residents and their carers paired with 3rd/4th class for a weekly virtual song gathering, to encourage connectedness to and engagement with community. These musical gatherings were supported by weekly music educational video content and creative packs, which were informed by a research and development leading up to the project commencement. Phase One: Research and Development Phase August 2020 This phase focused on capturing the voices of the care home residents, their families and care home staff, by developing meaningful connections through one-to-one phone/video calls, written correspondence and activities. This exchange informed song choices for the project as well as giving the facilitators the opportunity to explore the participants story, what role and meaning music has played in their life and their creative ambitions, giving the exchange a contextual relevance. Phase Two: Resource Development September/October 2020 During this phase, music educational video content was created, influenced by findings from phase one. These videos were used to teach both care home participants and children the song material for each week, but also explore their voices through fun exercise and games. The videos were accompanied by creative packs which included song lyrics, arts activities for the activities coordinator/class teachers to assist residents/students in making thematic props for their weekly singsong, as well as stories and artwork. Phase Three: Facilitating the Exchange – October/November 2020 During Week 1-4, weekly videos and creative packs were sent to the care home and school which focus on a new song with accompanying activities. Each Friday, the weekly virtual gatherings took place, where participants joined together, singing the songs they had learned throughout the week. Phase Four: Celebration November 2020 A musical celebration marked the culmination of this project, as part of the Tradoodle festival weekend.

Aim of Initiative

Residents in Castleross Nursing home Carrickmacross and students from 3rd and 4th Class in Lisdoonan National School

Who is it aimed at

Residents in Castleross Nursing home Carrickmacross and students from 3rd and 4th Class in Lisdoonan National School

Steps critical to success

  1. Funding to support the intiative remotely
  2. Engaement from local school and Nursing home
  3. Appointment of experienced co-ordinator

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Public health restrictions limting enagement to remote only
  2. availability of adequate Broadband

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. Postive experiences for isolated nursing home residents
  2. Integenerational learning for children
  3. Wellbeing of all participants and wider community who enaged in the celebration event

Dee Mc Quaid -Creative Ireland Co-ordinator, Monaghan County Council,