Virtual Groups Bring Children and Families Together
26 MAY 2020
Precious musical moments created by online music groups
Whilst lockdown has meant physical isolation for many Noah’s Ark families, the charity has done much to ensure that social closeness remains… virtually, of course!
Kirsty, Noah’s Ark’s music therapist, has been conducting group music sessions online – and they’ve been such a success that she plans to continue them after lockdown. As she says:
“These sessions have meant that many people who aren’t able to leave their homes have a chance to meet friends and spend time together. There are a lot of people who can’t necessarily travel to The Ark even in ‘normal’ times, particularly if they live further away or a child is in hospital, so this is a brilliant way for them to access both music therapy and a crucial network of peers.”
Four or five families attend each group session and they’re given a list beforehand of things to collect from round the house. These items come in handy when Kirsty tells the stories, introducing a sensory element for each child. It means that parents and children both have crucial roles to play within the sessions and means that they spend time playing together:
As Kirsty continues:
"Many children have responded positively, they seem to love the songs and stories. I create music to reflect what I see. Some are getting up and waving at other children, others are vocalising in a dialogue with myself and all appear to be enjoying interacting with their caregiver. It’s been a delight to witness."
The groups have been open to all Noah’s Ark families and the younger children in particular have enjoyed themselves. As Donna, mother of Romeo, said:
“The music groups with Kirsty give Romeo something to look forward to. He can’t go out and hasn’t been out for nine weeks so these groups have really been a lifeline. It’s an opportunity to see others through zoom and he gets great pleasure in seeing other children and Kirsty. She plays the songs he likes and it’s amazing because it completely engrosses him – not much else does! The only bad thing about it is when he has to say goodbye at the end!”.
Read more about Noah’s Ark’s response to coronavirus.