Turning Loneliness into Joy

I recently attended a presentation about music and health by Renée Fleming, superstar soprano opera singer.  She was in Indianapolis preparing to perform with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.  A few days prior to her performance, she visited Riley Hospital for Children and spent some time with me and the other music therapists.  I was very honored to have her be part of one of my music therapy sessions – she even sang along during a couple of the songs!  I sang with Renée Fleming!!!  ::pause to geek out::

Anyway, her presentation was wonderful, and one part in particular stuck out for me.  She mentioned a study that examined the detrimental health effects of loneliness.  I found some more information about that study here.   Loneliness in older adults is actually linked to Alzheimer’s disease!

I immediately thought about the “grandfriends” in our Intergenerational Music Classes.  Older adults in senior living communities can easily become lonely and disengaged in the community.  I knew that bringing children and families into senior living communities to make music with grandfriends was improving their quality of life, but this information suggests that these classes could actually have a positive effect on their physical health, too.  

The Intergenerational Music Classes are not only designed to help the grandfriends, but the children and parents, too!  Children (crawlers, toddlers, and preschoolers) learn the basic elements of music, develop healthy attitudes towards aging, make friends, practice following directions, and work on achieving developmental milestones.  Parents learn musical tools to help in their daily lives, such as transition songs.

A reporter from the Hendricks County Flyer recently attended one of our classes and wrote a story about it!  You can read it here. 

Interested in trying out a class?  Check out the current offerings here.  We hope to make music with you soon!

With joy,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *