Enriching the lives of our senior residents through music

Mental stimulation, physical activity and engagement in rewarding experiences have been shown to positively impact the aging process.

Mental stimulation, physical activity and engagement in challenging and rewarding experiences have all been shown to positively impact the aging process.

At Ebenezer’s Martin Luther and Ridges campuses, music is being used to do just that.

In partnership with MacPhail’s Music for Life program, and thanks in large part to a $25,000 Partners in Art Participation (PIAP) grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, residents at both sites have been able to stay active and engaged through music.

“The older adults we serve have limited access to arts learning and involvement because of health, financial, and/or mobility limitations,” says Sally Peterson, campus director of community programs. “These programs help foster continual learning, exploration of talents and creative expression among the residents who live on our campuses or participate in our day programs.”

Three classes are offered: Music for Life, Sing for Life and Side by Side. The variety of classes aim to meet the interests of the residents involved – ranging from playing instruments, singing songs or interacting with the younger generation.

Intergenerational Learning and Support

The intergenerational Side by Side class has been offered since 2010 and specifically seeks to spark creativity, celebrate learning and bring joy and purpose to its participants. The class involves everything from singing to playing instruments to composing, storytelling and more.

“The main goal is to enhance seniors’ quality of life,” says Sally. “And all of that happens while also promoting cognitive and physical fitness, a sense of purpose and control, creative expression and opportunities for socializing.”

While Ebenezer has a long history of partnership with the MacPhail Music For Life program, this is the first time they have received a grant from PIAP, which has allowed them to expand and strengthen the classes.

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