A brand new initiative from Belltree Music Therapy CIC
DUSTY BLUEBELLS PROJECT ...connecting children and older people through stories, songs and musical improvisation.
About Dusty Bluebells
This project begun in January 2018 with a 12 week pilot funded by the Big Lottery Fund. We have been so inspired by the response from all involved that we want to expand it to nurseries across Brighton and Hove and later East and West Sussex. We believe every care home should be matched with a nursing home for improved quality of life.
We're trying to reduce the social isolation that older people often feel when living in a care home, due to illness and physical separation from loved ones. When the generations spend time together it can take the focus away from problems and draw us towards the positive aspects of life such as friendship and creativity. Traditional stories, songs and musical improvisation offer opportunities for memories, feelings and ideas to be shared even if verbal communication is limited – bringing a sense of personal value and emotional wellbeing to all involved.
‘We believe every care home should be matched with a nursing home’
Traditional stories and songs provide common ground for the old and the young to be together; they stimulate the imagination and trigger memories. We make the sessions as interactive as possible so that the children and older people can get to know each other. In our pilot project we have really noticed the friendships grow as everyone has become more relaxed in eachother’s company. The older people also form closer relationships with one another, which will have lasting benefits beyond the end of the project. The songs and stories live on in the wider community, as the children share them with family members.
There is also a skills sharing element to the project as we work closely with nursery staff, planning which songs to learn at nursery through the week and modelling our interactive approach to storytelling and music-making.
Who we are
The Dusty Bluebells Project is a new initiative by Belltree Music Therapy CIC, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company set up in Brighton in 2009. The idea came from Tina Warnock, founder of Belltree and registered music therapist. It is run by Tina, and Fleur Shorthouse, professional storyteller and teacher of philosophy, both of whom have over two decades experience using their creative medium to build connections between people of all ages and abilities. Tina and Fleur have been running story and song workshops at family festivals for several years so Dusty Bluebells is a natural extension of this creative partnership.
As the project grows we are hoping to attract experienced storytellers and music therapists in the area to deliver the project to the highest of standards.
HOW DO WE ACHIEVE THIS
A brand new initiative by Belltree Music Therapy CIC. Traditional stories and songs provide common ground for the old and the young to be together; they stimulate the imagination and trigger memories. These sessions are as interactive as possible and draw on ideas from all involved. The children and older people get to know each other as they share ideas and memories, and play music together. Over the course of the project friendships grow and the older people form closer relationships with each other, which has lasting benefits. The nursery school staff develop their storytelling and music making skills which extends the benefits to their entire nursery. This project also extends into the wider community, keeping the traditional stories and songs alive as the children share their experience with family members.
COMMENTS FROM SESSIONS
John from The Pines said:
"I love being able to make a noise with the instruments"...and... "it was so nice when she chose me" when Amy aged 3 asked to share an instrument with him.
At the end of the session he began to sing the song 'There's a hole in my bucket' which the children then learned at nursery and sang with everyone the following week - this was great fun and helped a much-loved song live on in the community.
‘I love being able to make a noise with the instruments’
One week we told the story of ‘Jack’s first day at school’. It is about a Grandad who decided to go to school when he was 86 (he did not have the chance when he was a child). The nursery children acted out a part of the story and some of the residents shared their memories about their own and their children’s first day at school. It was a wonderful way to spark memories and help the nursery children have positive feelings about starting school this September.
‘It was a wonderful way to spark memories’
ALL THE STORIES WE USE HAVE A LONG HERITAGE, SOME ARE GATHERED FROM ORIGINAL ORAL TRADITION BEARERS. GET IN CONTACT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT TRADITIONAL ORAL STORYTELLING.
CONTACT DUSTY BLUEBELLS PROJECT
Get in touch with Dusty Bluebells Project to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.