Many years have passed since this post, and both of those old folks have passed as well. I learned a lot from them, and I am grateful to have known them. I have undertaken several projects integrating folks of different generations, but was mostly overcome by the logistics of it. Reading this post now gives me new energy for the intergenerational aspect of my work. Maybe something will come of it. (Introduction added April 2021).
I just returned from a journey that was worth every hour of highway driving, for the fine music we made and heard there. We (my sweetie and his 17-year-old daughter) went to visit his 89-year-old parents and the combination of rest and home-made music was the most wonderful vacation. We had long, quiet times, walks about the neighbourhood and down by the water, shopping and festive dinners. In and around it all was the playing and singing of songs: Christmas carols, old hymns, folk songs, blues songs, old pop stuff, even some new indie sounds. The old upright piano got a workout last week, for sure.
I am grateful to these two lovely people for demonstrating yet again the power of simply making music in the home, for itself. They are not professionals, but simply enjoy singing and piano playing as part of life, and they help others find their voices by hosting singsongs in their home from time to time. It is not surprising that most of their children and grandchildren are quite good musicians.
This recent family musical experience makes me feel more inspired than ever about multigenerational singing events. I look forward to lots of that in my future as I further explore the ways I can work with people of all ages together.