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Musical Memories 2020

Paddock NS – Image credit Alf Harvey

‘Musical Memories’ is a Music Generation Laois intergenerational Song-Singing project for care-home residents and children & young people. It is an interactive, sing-a-long musical experience with songs from many different eras and genres.

‘Musical Memories’ is one of a number of projects across Ireland that was successfully funded from the Positive Ageing and Creative Wellbeing Challenge Fund as part of the Creative Ireland Programme. The Programme is delivering a suite of creativity initiatives on positive ageing and mental wellbeing for older people in the community and in care facilities.

‘Musical Memories’ project aims to :

-Support positive ageing by placing a value on the input of residents in care settings;

-Mitigate the negative impact of social cocooning by re-establishing inter-generational human connection;

-Have a shared learning experience for all while preserving songs from different eras.

Paddock NS, Image credit – Alf Harvey

MGL Singing and Early Years Music Specialist, Nuala Kelly is Lead Musician for the project. She works with MGL in various Primary Schools in County Laois and as a singer/guitarist and choir director, she has been singing in residential care settings/nursing homes for many years. Nuala says,

The effect of singing and live music is quite amazing and can add immensely to the quality of life of nursing home/hospital residents. I’ve seen first-hand how someone who finds it difficult to speak because of conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, can recall words to songs and sing with perfect diction.’

In a changing landscape and in times of social distancing, technology has come to the fore and is a creative new way for a project such as this to be delivered. The songs will be pre-recorded for the nursing home/hospital to use as often as they need to engage residents with the project songs.

‘I’m also very interested in intergenerational singing as so much can be learned from children and older people, and along with creating these Musical Memories via a collaborative performance, the children will be preserving songs from an older generation that too often are forgotten. We have given careful consideration to select good quality music across different genres so there’s something in the repertoire that will appeal to all musical tastes.’

Live Zoom sessions with children & young people and nursing home residents will be organised to rehearse the songs. A pre-recorded video performance of all participants singing, with the possibility of a future combined performance in real-time, pending government regulations at the time. The project also includes a small team of MGL tutors on Piano, Harp and Fiddle and runs from September to December 2020.

The selected songs and accompanying lyrics sheet can be accessed via the following links :

Musical Memories Part 1 – Tennessee Waltz, Red River Valley, Secret Love


Musical Memories Part 2 – The Spanish Lady, Red is the Rose, After the Ball


Musical Memories Part 3 – Oh What A Beautiful Morning, Black Hills of Dakota, Can’t Help Falling in Love


‘Musical Memories’ is supported by Creative Ireland Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) and in partnership with Laois County Council. For more information on Creative Ireland Laois go to https://www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/laois/.