TITCIAN Gew has watched her shy toddler develop confidence in a musical playgroup each week at a Ballarat aged care home.
Each Thursday morning for the past year, mother and son have joined in singing timeless children's songs and bright classics at Royal Freemasons Ballarat.
Ms Gew said the sessions had wonderful atmosphere for young children.
"It's a lovely program. He loves the adults," Ms Gew said. "My son will come with so much energy each week."
Feelings are mutual among residents who can hardly wait to grab a spot in the common room each week.
Carousel Music Therapy offering older adults - those young at heart - a chance to reminisce and connect with young children, particularly those who may have limited exposure to older adults.
Resident Max said he, like many others, just loved the sessions and it was a highlight of the week.
I'm here every time and wouldn't miss it for the world.Resident, Max
"I have children of my own and know what they're like at this age," Max said.
"I play bubbles with them and I like playing with all the children in the sessions."
The program at Royal Freemasons, the first of its kind in Ballarat, has been running for one year.
Places have been limited, so as to not overwhelm the children or residents, but is open again to new parents and children this year.
Children share musical instruments with residents and fun toys like balloons, feathers and the popular bubble machine during.
There are nursery rhymes but plenty of favourites from the 1930s, 40s and 50s that may be childlike and fun and encourage basic dance movement.
The program aims to promote social and emotional support and self-expression for older adults and connection with children and families.
Carousel founder and director Imogen Rees, a music therapist, developed the program when working in aged care and noticing the change in dynamics when child relatives would come to visit.
For more details, or to join the program, visit carouselmusictherapy.com.au.
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