Unique arts project at Tallaght University Hospital has resulted in creation of CD

By Mary Dennehy

A UNIQUE intergenerational arts project at Tallaght University Hospital has resulted in the creation of a CD that contains songs and poems based on conversations between students and grandparents.

Students from Mount Seskin Community College in Jobstown and Cashel Community College in Tipperary took part in the health and education project, which was called ‘Same as it Ever Was?’


Mairéad Shields, Chairperson of the Meath Foundation with Professor Rónán Collins, Consultant Geriatrician at TUH at the launch of the ‘Same as it Ever Was?’ CD

The project was designed to find out the reasons why people have favourite songs, and to use the exploration of those commonalities as a way to encourage greater communication between the generations.

The arts project was inspired by Reminiscene Therapy, and was originally conceived by Professor Ronan Collins from Tallaght University Hospital.

The reminiscing over songs took place over YouTube, which showed that using ditial technology, which can often divide the generations, could be used to bring people together, sparking conversation and memories.

According to Professor Ronan Collins, Consultant in Age Related Health Care at TUH: “I found discussing and viewing clips over YouTube with students and grandparents a very positive intergenerational process of discovery through music and culture.

“In an increasingly digital world it is important we harness technology to bring generations closer together and not widen the gap further.

“In addition such interactive reminiscence can improve cognitive and linguistic skills in older people…and is an easy, enjoyable way for one generation to help and learn something from the other.”

The themes discussed by participants and comments made were sent to musicians and poets, who created unique pieces inspired by the students and grandparents for the CD.

The CD is available on a not-for-profit basis from the Centre for Contemporary Music on Fishamble Street, Dublin 8, for €5.

A portion of all sales (€1.64) will go to the Meath Foundation which, supporting the project, is a key sponsor of research and arts in health at Tallaght University Hospital.

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