Whether you work or live with older adults or with preschoolers, relationships are a part of their (and your) lives. Those relationships can happen within a variety of roles:

  • Family member to family member.
  • Client to caregiver.
  • Between two people receiving care.

And these relationships ALL matter.

Look at the list found in “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. A third of those items are relationship based.

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

We know music can boost community spirit. A 2014 research article in Frontiers of Psychology cites the synchronicity required in large group music making helps to connect us to others.

Music is used to address social issues. While some of this are city or area based, we may also use music to address the social issues within the communities/facilities where we work and within our homes. It is not a negative that music making can be fun. 

Think of the many skills you can support in and through music among them sharing, taking turns, topics for conversation, social skills. We are empowered acknowledge them and their abilities, to treat each one as the special person they are.

Get 'em Relating Thru MusicHow to Get ’em Relating

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all way to harness this. My top suggestion is to locate a board certified music therapist in your area. Consult with them, contract with them or add one to your staff.

If you work in a senior living community you can make use of these resources as a bridge.

And, maybe include these songs of friendship in some upcoming activities or sessions.

Mr. Rogers “You are Special”

….speaks to what we do with our specialness and friendship.

Work with older adults?

They may remember Judy Garland and Ethel Merman. See if they remember these duets.

Working with both preschoolers and older adults?

Give this singable book  a try.  *We Are One (affiliate link) by Ysaye M. Barnwell is beautifully illustrated by Brian Pinkney. This song has an accompanying book. Depending on the individual or group, it may guide reflections on the lyrics.


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