At Front Row Music one of our core values is “Giving thanks and giving back”. We feel very privileged to get to inspire young people every day through music and as a business we are also passionate about giving back to our local communities. 

This year we got some funding to run a series of workshops up in Manchester bringing together some of our wonderful students to teach the ukulele to some residents in local care homes.
We are firm champions of the positive effect that music can have in a persons life, young or old – there’s no age limit; we really do believe that music changes lives and it was amazing to see this in action through the project.

The account below has been written by Sam who did a fantastic job overseeing the project. We hope you enjoy reading and watching what we all got up to!

Earlier this year, Front Row Music were given an amazing opportunity through the Seedbed Trust to bring together younger and older generations and see them bond through making music!

With the help of three local residential homes we were able to facilitate three months of workshops in which we gathered together some of our fantastic young musicians who are currently learning with us in school to teach the residents how to play the ukulele so they could jam out together!

When I started organising these workshops along with the other guys at Front Row, I was hopeful that I would get to see some really amazing moments but I really wasn’t prepared for just how successful they would be. We had children who came into the first session feeling super shy who were confidently directing residents when to strum and stop by the last session, and residents who opened up about memories of music from their youth who were suffering from dementia. We even had one of the kids bring in a mother’s day gift and daffodils for one of the residents and it was really moving to see the relationship that formed between them. They even planned to meet up after the sessions were finished!

As well as the heart-warming interactions that I saw between the kids and the residents, it was amazing to see the myth that you can’t learn anything new in older age being well and truly broken!

Many of the residents went from never having touched an instrument before to strumming along to Hound Dog by Elvis in their last session. One moment that particularly stood out for me personally, was when one resident who suffered from dementia told me that she used to play classical guitar but wasn’t sure if she could still remember how to read music. Luckily I had a music book in my bag, and within a couple of minutes she was giving the room an amazing rendition of Ode to Joy! I think for me this really underlined the amazing power music has to help people access memories and times in their lives that they may have thought they’d forgotten all about.

We felt immensely privileged to have had the chance to help put together a project like this and I can’t stress enough that we couldn’t have done this without the amazing staff and residents from all the participating care homes, our fantastic tutors who helped facilitate the sessions and the kids who did all the teaching and brought tons of enthusiasm along with them as well!

We hope this is something we can do more of in the future and help to bring more generations together to make music!