For their service project, Corner House and the Kennedy B apartment are playing live music at senior citizen homes in Wooster. This service project helps in building connections in the community by way of music.
Music has the ability to bring people together and it is mutually enjoyable, so it is not surprising that these program houses picked music as a mode of joy for the elderly. Anyone who goes out into the community for service represents The College of Wooster. However, this is the first service group to represent The College at the Wayne County Care Center (WCC). Serving senior citizens with the shared love of music not only creates bonds in the community, but can also help overcome generational differences.
Residents reacted positively to the service project. “In playing music, helping with crafts or just coming to talk, the residents of the facility are overjoyed to have some people to talk to and spend time with,” said Will Courtney ’19, a member of Corner House
Not only is music entertaining, but it is also a powerful experience for those of all ages, and has the ability to take people back in time. Whenever you hear a familiar song, it quite often brings back a memory or a feeling. Thus, residents will often request songs from specific eras.
“We had a resident request to hear a song because she forgot how it sounded [but] she knew it was one of her favorites,” said Courtney.
This service project is unique in that it is not only the first to volunteer at WCC, but one of the few that works with the elderly. This project gives Wooster students a chance to reach out to older generations, which benefits not only the elderly, but the students as well. The students listen to stories about life in a different generation and how the world has changed, which is immensely valuable, as are the insights and views the older generation has about the world today.
The history lesson directly received in this way is irreplaceable and underestimated in value.
Recently, Courtney met a resident who used to live on Spink Street. This person gave him valuable insight about what the College was like years ago and how it has changed. The bond formed between the College and the surrounding community and between the older generation and ours is a rare but valuable part of this unique service project. Much of service work is mutually beneficial, as many of us feel a joy in serving others, but in this project the shared love of music and the lessons learned from the older generations are undeniably of value to the volunteers.