let the IG sun shine inIf you have become involved in intergenerational (IG) programming, hurrah! If you haven’t, it is time to open your heart to it. IG programs can warm the hearts of all participants.

There are developmental and social reasons for IG programs. Yet, for me the power is found in the lives of the participants. Most seem to find describing what they get from their participation.

For me it is the engagement of the seniors, the increased response by the children and the smiles of the parents as they capture exchanges on their phones that tell the story of opening a heart to IG.

Maybe it is the cold weather and the approach of Valentine’s Day, by the old song “Open Up Your Heart (And let the sun shine in)”  has played in my mind as I write this post. Written in 1954, the song was recorded by various people and groups (including Pebbles and Bamm Bamm).

What if we change the words a little for an IG spin? (These may not be perfect, but you get the drift.)

Mommy told me something a little kid should know.
Sharing with friends young and old will help me to grow.
She said it also helps grandfriends find sunshine in their day.
Intergenerational groups are special, I must say.

So let the sun shine in, face it with a grin.
IG groups are a win – win.
So let the sun shine in, face it with a grin
Open up your heart and let the IG sun shine in.

Share the warmth of IG with others. Locate an IG offering in your community or start one yourself.

  • If you are reading this post in early February 2015, you can get many of your questions answered about IG groups answered by signing up for Weekly Sips and indicating an interest in intergenerational programs. I’m offering a free three week webinar for music therapist and eldercare workers. It is designed to share important information on developing and maintaining your own IG program. We’ll walk you through the preparation required. There will be plenty of time to answer questions along the way. I’ll also send out a link after each webinar so you can watch it on your own time.
  • If you are looking for resources to quickly plan intergenerational groups for seniors and preschoolers, check out “Sparking Lives with Themes and Music“.
  • If you are reading this post after February 2015, you can access the webinar along with special materials and a dozen session plans by becoming a member of Session Cafe.