Music is a powerful tool. As a universal language, it has the ability to spark emotion, unite diverse groups of people, and shine light on a variety of causes. Understanding music’s ability to create awareness, a local team of non-profits is harnessing the power of song in an effort to promote a greater understanding of aging issues within New Hampshire and across the nation.
Hoping to strike an intergenerational chord, the Moore Center and Musicians for a Cause, with the help of AARP New Hampshire, reached out to 350,000 musicians in search of a variety of songs to address the issue of aging. The nearly year-long contest garnered entries from across the world, resulting in a two-disc musical set entitled “Life in the Years” and “More Life in the Years.” Since its release in January, the organizations have sold nearly 1,000 CDs.
From a woman dealing with menopause to an adult son struggling with his father’s Alzheimer’s, the 37-song collection symbolizes compassion, love, awareness and a touch of humor within the issue of aging. You can even see a video produced for one of these songs on YouTube. Still, despite the immense positive awareness the lyrics of each composition bring to aging issues, project creators are looking to further the impact of each song through the development of a campaign to bridge the gap between the young and the old.
Expansion of the project’s goals has resulted in a program called Reach Across the Ages, which enhances the intergenerational awareness and understanding fostered through the content of the CD set. This initiative, launched in New Hampshire, uses the music of “Life in the Years” to foster powerful relationships between local senior and youth organizations. A recent project engaged the 15 sites of New Hampshire Jobs for America’s Graduates with senior groups to create music videos based on the songs from the “Life in the Years” initiative.
“As the population of New Hampshire begins to grow grayer, there are few greater needs than awareness and understanding of aging issues,” said AARP New Hampshire State Director Kelly Clark. “The impacts of projects like ‘Life in the Years’ and Reach Across the Ages are critical to filling this need in how they strengthen relationships between generations.”