Bridging the Generation Gap Through Music

There was a wonderful article written in the Poughkeepsie Journal today that was both enlightening and inspirational. To view the entire article written by Karen Maserjian Shan of the Poughkeepsie Journal, published on July 15th, 2016, please click here.

The notion that seniors and children have nothing in common has become a thing of the past thanks to intergenerational activities. The one thing we all have in common is our love for music. Music has many health benefits including reducing stress, changing moods and triggering memory, just to name a few. What better way to bridge the gap between generations than to use music as an icebreaker. Everyone has something to offer and learn despite their age. There is so much that younger generations can learn from our seniors that they can’t find in a book or surfing the web and the interaction between these two groups brings tons of joy to seniors who may not have family nearby and are feeling lonely.

Pianist Peter Muir, who has a doctorate in musicology, is the founder and director of the Singing Songbirds Community Chorus that meets at The Fountains at Millbrook.

“We use music as a way of connecting seniors — residents of The Fountains — and people with disabilities, their families, children and anybody who really wants to make music just for fun,” Muir said.

After all, music, he said, is the great glue that binds communities and disparate populations.

“Music is the universal language,” Muir said. “Every culture has music and there’s a lot of research to suggest that the most basic form of communication is something much closer to music and singing than speech in the way that communication is hard-wired into the brain.”

For more information on the Singing Songbird Community Chorus, whose new season starts in September, visit or contact Judith Muir, 845-677-5871;

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