An Intergenerational Evaluation: Wellbeing & Community Cohesion through Music

Intergenerational Report Boogie Mites


Over the last 8-months, an evaluation measuring community cohesion and well-being has been underway in two care homes and a day centre in Portsmouth. These settings care for older people and have been visited by children aged 10 months – 4 years, either from a Nursery School setting or with parents on a weekly basis for Intergenerational music magic…

The Author

Liv is a Freelance Community Musician. She holds a degree in music, the Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood and a performance diploma in cello. She is a co-director of Music for Wellbeing CIC which works with adults who have long term health conditions such as dementia and respiratory conditions, adults with learning disabilities and intergenerational music projects.

Liv also works as a Boogie Mites (BM) Trainer; delivering practitioner training and parent education courses. Since October 2018, Liv has been studying part-time for her PHD in Intergenerational music making. The resulting report summarised the effects of the Boogie Mites Intergenerational Programme (BMIP), and we’re so happy to be able to share the results with you…

What is the BMIP?

BMIP is based on Boogie Mites Minis Programme, which is designed for children aged between 1 and 3 years old. There are many traditional nursery rhymes which have been adapted, modernised and recorded with a BM style (these offer a familial entry point for the older generation who may struggle with their memory) and also, Boogie Mites original songs, which pose a challenge for those more able.

Who Took Part in the Evaluation?

Three settings which care for the older generation took part in the study. Two of which were paired with nursery settings, one of which had parents and children attending.

What were the Aims of the Evaluation?
  • AIM 1 – to measure the impact on wellbeing by all those involved 
  • AIM 2 – to measure the impact on Community Cohesion.
  • AIM 3 – to gain an understanding of BM’s Practitioner’s perspective in establishing and delivering BM Intergenerational Project.

An Evaluation of Boogie Mites Intergenerational Music Programme

Impact on Wellbeing

The aggregate self-reported mood ratings from all three projects show an overall decrease in lower mood ratings, and a solid increase in elevated mood ratings. Overall themes emerging from the questionnaires regarding wellbeing revealed participants felt ‘happy’, ‘energised’ and ‘uplifted’ in particular.

The effect on wellbeing for participants is multifaceted, and there are many reasons why this occurred, including the music itself, the interactions taking place and the role of the Boogie Mites leader.  In addition, the staff and older adults working in the care homes and day centre cited the presence of the children as a factor in their increased wellbeing

Impact on Community Cohesion

It is clear from the observations that positive relationships within the sessions had been developed to varying levels, and the beginnings of increased community cohesion at an institutional level could be seen, particularly in setting 1. This could be due to the fact this setting had run intergenerational projects previously and therefore intergenerational work did not have to be advocated for through the Boogie Mites projects. However, there were also initial glimpses of community cohesion in the other two settings, with setting 3 inviting parents to an event and setting 2 meeting on a monthly basis to take part in other intergenerational activities.

Wider Benefits

Other unexpected outcomes in relation to wellbeing was the development of confidence and social skills for all participants. In addition to the two above aims being assessed, it was interesting that participation in the projects seemed to improve either confidence or social skills (and sometimes both) for all participants, regardless of age or role. (children, parents, EY practitioners, care-home staff, elderly participants). In particular, care-home staff and Nursery practitioners felt more confident to sing or lead music activities in their settings.

There were also musical skills gained by both the children, nursery practitioners and the older adults.

BM Leaders Top Tips

BM Leaders identified several elements for leading an Intergenerational group:

  1. Partnership working
  2. Arranging the environment
  3. Working with the individuals
  4. Time and space for connections to flourish
  5. Enhanced role of props for Intergenerational connection
  6. Being brave about trying new ideas

You can read justification for each of these elements in the full report, where you will also find many enlightening comments from study participants.

“Each element will resonate differently for individual participants, but one of the overriding themes was that people just enjoyed being together and interacting.” 
Liv McLennan.

If you would like to know more about Liv McLennan’s findings, read her data summaries, charts and recommendations for future studies, you can read the entirety of her Report:

An Evaluation of Boogie Mites Intergenerational Music Programme

Boogie Mites Intergenerational Music sessions were pioneered by our Portsmouth Licensee, Nicole, and are now available in other locations thanks to our wonderful Licensees. If you like the sound of becoming a licensee, please visit our page: Run Your Own

If you are interested in Boogie Mites Practitioner Training, please contact Sue Newman, Boogie Mites Director on or call her 023 9281 7274