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Connecting community through music

Posted: Wed, Dec 16, 2020 11:32 AM
Tenants of Arlin Falck Assisted Living enjoy connecting with elementary students through music. Front row (l-r): Naomi Craft, Grace Billiet, Dean Hagen Back row (l-r): Rosie Eppens, Paul Hexom, Joanne Halverson, Lester Korsness

This summer the Decorah Community School District Music Department prioritized connecting to the community through music as one of their core goals for the 2020-2021 school year. Recently Decorah students in kindergarten through 4th grade partnered with the Arlin Falck Assisted Living Center to share music with all ages. One resident commented, "It is a wonderful feeling to know the children (and their parents and teachers) care about us here at Arlin Falck Assisted Living."

As part of the project, the residents recorded songs from their childhood for Decorah students. The students then watched these videos as a part of the lessons they completed at home during the five weeks of hybrid learning.  After watching the videos, John Cline and Carrie Lee students recorded videos of themselves singing songs or thanking the residents for sending the songs they had recorded. A resident reflected on the event saying, "It was so fun to hear some familiar songs as well as learning new ones."
Despite the isolation created by COVID, Decorah students and the Arlin Falck residents made connections through their childhood music experiences. Many residents who participated had lots of positive things to say about the experience, including about how the students were all so polite and brave to sing and play solos.  They also praised the teachers and parents, commenting, "Those kids all must have wonderful teachers and parents who encourage them."

The music project was a bright spot for the residents. One resident said, "It doesn't get any better than seeing children smile and enjoy themselves."

John Cline Elementary School student sharing music with the residents
Students from John Cline Elementary School sharing music with the residents
Carrie Lee Elementary School students sharing music with the residents