Musical Memories 2021

Musical Memories was developed in August 2020, responding to restrictions in Ireland due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. An intergenerational song project, Musical Memories seeks to address isolation among more vulnerable members of our community, by creating connections with children from local primary schools, through music.

Musical Memories is led by Nuala Kelly from Music Generation Laois. In 2020 residents from Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit, St Vincent’s Communtiy Nursing Unit, Mountmellick, St Brigid’s Hospital Shaen and children from Paddock National School took part. Participants intially worked on pre-recorded videos, rehearsing songs, then moved to live zoom sessions with Nuala. Children from Paddock NS attended in-person sessions with Nuala. All the songs in this project are inspired by the interests of participating care home residents.

Musical Memories culminated with a zoom session/concert with all care home residents and the children of Paddock in December 2020, both a technical and musical feat. In addition to the finale concert, the Bandwagon, a mobile performing unit, created by our partner organisation Laois School of Music, brought a live ‘outside the windows’ performance to residents of St Vincents in Mountmellick, a welcome pre-Christmas gig in December.

Musical Memories 2020 was one of a number of projects across Ireland that was successfully funded by the ‘Positive Ageing and Creative Wellbeing Challenge Fund’ as part of the Creative Ireland Programme, supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) and in partnership with Laois County Council.

Musical Memories is continuing in 2021, under funding made available through the ‘Laois Keep Well Community Resilience Campaign.’ The project will expand to connect with a variety of voluntary organisations in the County, and with more primary school children getting involved. An exciting new chapter for Musical Memories, led by Nuala Kelly, the project will continue to work with all our fantastic participants from 2020, as well as a whole range of new singers, young and not so young, from across County Laois.

Music Generation Laois would like to acknowledge the funding it has received from the KEEP WELL Campaign, which is brought to you with thanks to Healthy Ireland, an initiative of the Government of Ireland with funding from the Healthy Ireland Fund and the Sláintecare Fund delivered by Pobal, administered by Laois County Council, and Healthy Ireland Laois