The first #GCFGrantStories of the year comes from Community Grant recipient The Elliott Community , who received funding for their ‘In Tune’ Ukulele – Music Therapy for Seniors program.
This popular music program was designed for local seniors at risk of social isolation during the COVID pandemic. The program helped these seniors gain social connections with others their age, decrease social isolation and loneliness through social activity, and of course, learn a new skill of the Ukulele!
The Elliott Community partnered with Wellington Music Therapy for the program development and implementation with their Music Therapists. Playing music together or even practicing alone has proven therapeutic effects. Playing the instrument helped reduce stress and anxiety for the participants.
They had invited outside community members to the program, in addition to their residents, resulting in an excitingly high participation rate. Many folks were interested in continuing the lessons after completing the 12-week program. They shared that it gave them a sense of purpose for the day and a feeling of accomplishment, boosting their self-esteem and well-being. The Elliott Community shared that the simple ukulele became a powerful tool for seniors to express their emotions and connect with others meaningfully.