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My Music Ignites My Soul Launches


In a society that increasingly recognises loneliness as a key factor influencing wellbeing, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award (the Award) and Age Concern New Zealand are partnering in a programme to bring different generations together through music.

The aim of My Music Ignites My Soul -  Ōku Pūoro, Hihiko Tōku Wairua is to bring young and old people together where the young person will develop a music playlist for older people.

Young people undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award will meet and work alongside seniors, family members and Diversional Therapists to individualise music for them. Students will canvas:

- favourite songs, artists of genres

- their musical interests

- any musical ability or instruments 

- key life events

The programme is being piloted through the Summerset at their Monterey Park village at Hobsonville Point.

My music Ignites My Soul has been developed from the vision and experiences of Pauline Grogan (a former nun, teacher and playwright). Her passion is to use music to develop relationships and maintain memories for our seniors. The Alive Inside’ documentary outlines how listening to music, particularly from their teens and younger years and from key events in their lives, connects seniors to their past and reawakens beautiful and long-lasting memories.

The programme will be guided by the Life Story Tool developed by Summerset and gifted to this programme for use by Summerset.

The programme recognises how relationships can be built through music and can link generations together.  Auckland Musician and Composer Louis Bernstone has composed and gifted the programme its theme song ‘Connected by the Music’.

“Age Concern New Zealand are thrilled to be part of this wonderful initiative. Helping people to find joy in music that really resonates with their soul is humbling and yet such a simple idea. We love promoting ways for people to connect, and especially connections across age groups, which this programme does that so well”, says  Stephanie Clare, Chief Executive,  Age Concern New Zealand .

The Award’s National Director, Karen Ross commented that programmes ambition, alongside the musical legacy for seniors, is to foster inter-generational and cross-cultural relationships and understanding through music.  Award participants will give this service as part of achieving their Award.

The pilot is being launched on Saturday 5 December and will run over the next 12 months and will then be expanded throughout Aotearoa.









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