12 January 2012
Canterbury Christ Church University's Department of Music and Performing Arts has celebrated a six year partnership with Abbeyfield Kent's Connors House.
The residential home with dementia facilities in Canterbury hosted an ‘Intergenerational Singing Tea Party’ which brought together residents from Connors House, children from Pilgrims Way Primary School, Canterbury, as well as lecturers and music students at Christ Church.
Students taught the residents and school children various new songs which they all performed together later on in the afternoon. Residents were also involved in a seated maypole dance with the children acting as their partners.
Trish Vella-Burrows, Assistant Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Music, Arts & Health, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our sixth year in partnership with Abbeyfield Kent and the residents and staff at Connors House. The past six years have enabled our students to explore different ways of engaging with people through music, whilst receiving a really positive reaction from the residents during their visits.”
The project is run in association with the University’s Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Music, Arts and Health and involves a number of initiatives, such as the Generation Link Canterbury project which hosted the tea party at the end of last year.
Christine Devlin, Home Manager at Connors House, said: "We are so grateful to Canterbury Christ Church University and the students for the input at Connors House. The Generation Link Canterbury project has been a wonderful success which, on the occasions the students have visited, has really lit up the home. Most importantly, the residents have really benefitted from the interaction with other generations and enjoyed the events laid on. We look forward to many more years working together."
The University has also engaged in a similar partnership with Kent County Council, Adult Services and the Kent and Medway Life Long Learning directorate. Music as a Therapeutic Medium for Engagement involves care staff working directly with music students, professional music practitioners and university lecturers, who collectively share their perspectives and understanding of the effects of music in care settings. The initiative also explores how music might be applied by care staff directly.
Creative Care Prospects
In addition to continuing to develop the existing Creative Care initiatives, Canterbury Christ Church University is also working on a project that focusses on developing healthy communities and raising younger children’s awareness of age related health conditions, including dementia.
This project links with two proposed research studies on children’s perspectives of health in old age, and children’s opinions and attitudes towards older people and visa versa.
The Creative Care Prospect consortium has also recently welcomed community engagement organisation, ‘SingUnited’, and Community Interest Company, ‘Songs and Noise’.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey