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crabapple the giving tree music senior and childChildren and seniors can learn a lot from one another. Children connect seniors to the future, remind them of the simple joys of youth, and love without judgment. Seniors offer children wisdom, gentle encouragement, and an understanding of how we are all rooted in the past. Yet bridging generational gaps can prove difficult. Music allows people of all ages to connect, even without speaking. Last January, Arbor Terrace at Crabapple began connecting children and seniors through the Giving Tree Intergenerational Preschool Program.

Giving Tree: Connecting Children and Seniors

Every Wednesday and Friday morning, Arbor Terrace at Crabapple fills with sounds of tambourines, bells, and singing. The Giving Tree Intergenerational Preschool Program, the brainchild of the George Center for Music Therapy, uses music to bring seniors and kids together at our community twice each week.


At first, both sides are a bit reluctant. Seniors may feel self-conscious dancing or talking to children they don’t know. Children may feel uncomfortable around seniors, especially if they have disabilities. But over time, the tension melts away and both age groups become absorbed in the music. That’s exactly the point: Giving Tree aims to break down communication barriers, dispel stereotypes, and help connect people who might otherwise never come into contact with each other.

By the end of each session, children and seniors alike are usually dancing around the room, talking about their lives, and uproariously laughing. Music activates their brains and emotions in a way nothing else does.

Seniors who might not have grandchildren or whose grandchildren live far away get to be surrogate grandparents twice a week. In return, children get to add a loving adult to their lives. And everyone loves it. Kids often beg not to leave, and seniors look forward to the visits all week.

At Arbor, we believe that age need not be a barrier to connection, to learning new skills, or to feeling young. The Giving Tree connects our seniors to the outside world and to a younger generation. It’s just one of many ways that we give seniors a meaningful and happy retirement.

crabapple the giving tree music

The Powerful Benefits of Music

Most people have experienced the emotional resonance of music. Consider how a song from your past makes you feel, or how the right piece can perfectly capture the emotions that words can’t touch. Music activates numerous parts of the brain.

crabapple the giving tree music having funResearch shows that music can:

Music is especially beneficial to seniors. That’s why we incorporate music into much of what we do at Arbor. These are just a few of the things music can do:

Perhaps most importantly of all, music is fun! We’re proud to partner with Giving Tree to give children and seniors a chance to connect across generations. We believe these connections may trigger powerful reverberations in seniors and children for many years to come. To learn more about our many programs, stop by or give us a call!

Learn More About Arbor Terrace at Crabapple

Christine Cavanaugh

About the Author: Christine Cavanaugh

As a certified geriatric care manager with 20+ years of senior living experience, Christine’s dedication to ensuring your family’s questions, concerns, and needs are met is rooted in her own family’s experience in the search for quality care for her grandmother. Her family’s top pick was Arbor Terrace at Crabapple for our demonstrated commitment to excellent care. Christine works tirelessly to help find senior care solutions for inquiring families and looks forward to helping yours. Christine and her husband of 20+ years moved from New York to Alpharetta in 1996 and have 2 daughters.