Residents of Horwood Court in Watford were recently treated to a programme of weekly visits from pupils of Knutsford Primary Academy, during which the two generations came together to learn and sing songs from across the decades – combating loneliness and proving that friendship has no age limit.
After the school expressed an interest in hosting an intergenerational music session, Watford Community Housing’s Community Engagement team worked closely with the teachers to put together four weekly events which would create an educational and enjoyable experience for both pupils and residents.
A group of 20 children visited the residents of Horwood Court in the communal lounge of their 50+ Living accommodation, performing their own current favourites and learning songs from years gone by with the help of teachers and residents. The children particularly enjoyed learning classic hits such as ‘Que Sera Sera’ and campfire songs like ‘Fred the Moose’. As well as solo and group singing, during some sessions the children played instruments as accompaniments or separate performances. There was also time for the pupils to chat freely with residents and enjoy tea and cakes.
The event allowed children to experience their music education outside of the classroom, and helped to introduce Watford Community Housing’s residents to new social situations, combating social isolation and connecting community groups across different generations.
The events were overwhelmingly popular among both age groups, with more than 20 residents joining the children each week. One pupil commented: “I enjoyed when we sang, we talked and we heard some of the residents sing songs that we didn’t know, but the residents taught us. I liked it when everybody was persevering and that nobody was left out. I loved all of the songs and if I had a choice I would pick community singing again!”
The residents of Horwood Court also enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the children, with one attendee saying: “I’ve really, really enjoyed it, it’s been lovely singing the old songs and I’ve really enjoyed being able to let loose! The children were lovely and so well behaved. I’m already looking forward to any similar afternoons in the future.”
Mrs Freeman, Music teacher at Knutsford Primary School said: “Thank you to everyone who attended this event for whole-heartedly embracing the singing sessions. It has been a real privilege to lead the singing and to see the joy that it has brought to the children, residents and staff. It has been an incredibly enriching experience and I hope that we will be able to work with Watford Community Housing again in the future.”