My home is always filled with music. My eldest son is a musician. When he is home, it is rare not to hear him playing one of his many instruments. He understands a language that is foreign to me, yet he speaks a universal one. Since he chose his path, I have come to understand the gift that music truly is and how fortunate I am to be able to experience my 'private concerts'.
When I visit retirement homes and am able to witness a concert by a visiting musician, I watch the way the residents interact with the music, listen intently and allow it to fill their souls. Some move to it, others sing along or hum a familiar tune, and still others just seem to absorb the atmosphere quietly, while feeling like an active participant in something wonderful. Music has the ability to draw people in regardless of the setting and regardless of their age.
And so, with this preamble, you will understand why I am so excited to hear of a new program in London, Ontario. Oakcrossing Retirement Living, a new retirement community, will offer an opportunity for a few music students from Western University's music program, to live in the home for free with the proviso that they spend 12 hours a week with the residents of the home. What an amazing inter-generational opportunity for both young and old!!!! I have visions of the students filling the home with music, impromptu concerts and practice sessions, perhaps even bringing classmates along to add other instruments to the mix, all while learning valuable life lessons from their neighbours, receiving guidance and support. While it is starting small scale, I can see it growing over time and perhaps even being used as a community others can learn from. I have no doubt it will be successful, I look forward to watching its progress and I applaud Oakcrossing for this innovative project which will most definitely enhance the lives of everyone living there.