Connecting with music

Three phase project called Walk Right In Community Music project comes to an end in Parksville

Gerry Barnum and Dean Williams entertain seniors at Stanford place during the last day of the Walk Right In project.

Gerry Barnum and Dean Williams entertain seniors at Stanford place during the last day of the Walk Right In project.

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

Last week marked the end of local project that included jug bands, instrument building, youth and senior interaction, music therapy and more.

It was called The Walk Right In Community Music project, funded by a New Horizons for Seniors grant from Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), and artistic director of the project Gerry Barnum said it turned out extremely well.

“It was definitely very successful,” said Barnum, recalling the first phase last July. “I didn’t know who was going to register for this on a Wednesday afternoon, but it was full to over capacity.”

The three-phase project by the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association started with instruction and workshops on jug band music. From there a professional group has formed which is performing around the community. The second phase of the project involved students of Pass/Woodwinds Secondary School along with local senior residents, building their own instruments from kits.

Phase three had Barnum and others working with the music therapist at Stanford Place. Seniors got to listen to live performances by Barnum and others and also got to play along with spoons and other instruments.  Barnum said it was great to lift the energy level of the seniors and connect with them through music.

“You know you connect and then the next thing you know they’re just having a ball.”

Barnum said the legacy of the project is continuing with instrument building still happening at Pass/Woodwinds on a volunteer basis, and Barnum is continuing to drop in on the Jug Band, called The Jugmentals. He said he hopes to do another musical project like this one in the future.