Inter-generational Living and Music and Beyond

Collington is launching a wonderful Musician in Residence Program.  As announced:

The University of Maryland School of Music (SOM) and Collington, a Kendal-affiliated Life Plan retirement community, have partnered to create a student artist residency program that brings together two different generations through music. Beginning this August, SOM graduate students Samantha Flores and Matthew Rynes will receive free room and board at Collington in exchange for performing regularly and organizing additional concerts and educational programs for residents.

“The artist residency at Collington affords students the chance to connect in meaningful ways with a distinct segment of our community and compels them to think about how we use music to engage with specific audiences,” says SOM Director Jason Geary. “It’s important that students understand fully the role that music can play in enriching the lives of those around them.”

And, here are Cellist Samantha Flores and Clarinetist Matthew Rynes:


If we do this right, there are just so many possibilities.  One idea I heard at a recent Hopkins Oncology Patient Council presentation by their Peabody Institute, for example, was having musicians work with end of life patients to help them compose musical pieces to leave for their families and friends to express their lives and their connection.  This is all part of a much broader movement in music to get it beyond static performance and back into connection and community.

This is not only great for music and community, but also suggests all kinds of broader possibilities.  As an article in  Statnews, describing  how two students from USC’s gerontology school live at Kingsley Manor Retirement Community in Los Angeles, explains, having students join communities can have very broad impacts:

The students, Tina Guan and Sai Raj Kappari, are part of a unique collaboration between the retirement home and the University of Southern California’s gerontology school. The program, which has been around for more than 30 years, allows select students to live and eat for free in the retirement home. In exchange, they spend time with the residents — they teach fitness and art classes, swap stories over dinner, and answer a constant flurry of computer-related questions.

“Having young people? That is the best idea. We can see their energy,” said Gabrielle Boisson, 97, a resident who lights up when Kappari stops by her room to say hello.


The goal is to spark the next generation of health care providers to take interest in gerontology — and better equip them to take care of the elderly by immersing them in the world of retirees, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“They share things with you that you wouldn’t necessarily get as a doctor at a 20-minute appointment. It’s kind of like being an undercover police officer,” said Ben Howie, a former participant in the program who is now in medical school.

So, at Collington this feeds perfectly into the creative thinking in our strategic planning process, for what some of us call “asset-driven proactive gerontology’ and beyond.

Our residents have so much knowledge and expertise that we could be life and career changing to almost any receptive live-in student.  Just think of the mentoring we could provide.