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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Making music together

Intergenerational music therapy program benefits youth and seniors

Second-grade students from St. Paul Lutheran School and residents of Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly, Iowa, strike a common chord together during a music therapy program.

The "Common Chord" program, established more than five years ago, brings the students together with the elderly each month for about an hour of musical activities and social interaction.

"It is cool to go to Bartels to meet new friends because it's fun!" said student Will Alexander.

Lois Felderman, a resident of Bartels
Lois Felderman, a resident of Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community, Waverly, Iowa, and Avery Wrage get ready to keep the beat with shakers made out of plastic eggs. St. Paul Lutheran School participates in a music therapy program that brings students and residents together for fun and friendship.

Student Isabel Thier added: "They (the residents) are really happy when we arrive."

Crystal Berkenes and Nicki Gamble, music therapists at Bartels, are responsible for the activities planned for the students and residents. They coordinate with Eliza Boots, second-grade teacher at St. Paul.


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