One of the things I do these days is teach a music class that is part of a well-established program. It involves parents and their babies or young children singing and dancing together, just having fun. I pretty much love it.
Right now, I have the opportunity to teach this class in a care home where we can involve the elderly folks who live there. They get to watch the babies play and explore, make music with us, and interact with each other, the moms and the babies.
I was a little nervous for the first class because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the elders. We were all shy at first, and a little hesitant about interacting with strangers, but by the end of the class, I saw something that made my heart grow a couple sizes.
I saw smiles of pure joy. I saw people who didn’t naturally smile all the time give the tiniest smirk as we sang hello to them by their name. I watched as recognition spread across faces when we sang old tunes. I watched as hope and happiness lit up the faces of the elders as they held the hands of wide-eyed babies.
You might think I’m reading too much into it. But having been there, watching, and having spoken to some of the participants in the class, I think they all had amazing and meaningful experiences that brought them joy and excitement. I felt lucky to have been a part of it, and to have helped facilitate these wonderful experiences.
As more time passes, I come to believe more and more in inter-generational relationships and learning. And my whole life I’ve been experiencing the positive impact that music and dance have on individuals and groups of people. Watching these things come together in the setting of an informal music and movement class last week filled my heart with all kinds of warm fuzzies.
I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of these classes take us. If day one was so spectacular, who knows how great the last day will be?
Keep smiling, friends! And pass it on!