Generations Singing Together
 
There are several organisations in existence in the UK that deliver or promote singing, but most, almost without exception, are aimed at involving a predetermined and specific age group often with a restrictive underpinning philosophy. Sing Together – Naturally’s unique selling points are its inclusivity and more specifically its intergenerational approach.
 
Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities.  Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the young and old have to offer each other and those around them.” (From the CIP website).
   
Overview and Principles
 
In the tiny village of Colvend by Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway (rural south west Scotland) Sing Together – Naturally! meets twice a month. All ages are welcome. Both individuals and multi-generations of families are encouraged to, and do, participate. The project is process oriented with a focus on making each session a joyful, creative experience for everyone. 
   
The groups bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to have fun in a friendly and supportive community. Anyone from young children to the elderly may walk in off the street. There are no auditions, and all abilities and levels of experience are welcome. This inclusiveness makes for a welcoming and rich singing community.  
 
Each person is empowered and encouraged to explore and celebrate his or her own voice as well as blend in harmony with others. It is a unique opportunity for parents to do something special and constructive with older children. It is also a way to make new friends and create music together.
   
Aim and Vision
 
The aim behind the project is not just to get people singing but to build relationships between participants, encourage mutually supportive behaviours leading to collective and individual confidence through teamwork and positive reinforcement.
   
Sing Together’s vision is to have the spirited energy of little ones, the honesty of teenagers coming of age, the experience of adulthood all shining through, an expression of the fullness of life as people of all ages raise their voices together and invite audiences to do the same.
   
 Finally
 
An old adage is: “Sell the sizzle, not the sausage!” Sing Together is not just about singing. The real ‘sizzle’ of Sing Together comes when people of all ages and background sing and socialise together!
 
Testimonials
 
Sing Together gives an extra dimension to our relationship. As I am 72, my daughter is 44 and my grand daughter is almost 10 it is good to have something to unite us musically. Usually our musical tastes would be very different, but sharing the songs we are learning gives us a lot of fun, bridging the generation gap.” Madeline Chadburn

 
I go to Sing Together with my friends from down the road. They are over 50s like me and we just love it. At the last "Sing", purely by coincidence, they had their 30 year old daughter over from Italy for a few days, while we had our 27 year old daughter similarly passing through Scotland from France to London. As time with them is so precious, we decided, rather than not go ourselves, to take them with us (under some duress, I have to say), but they loved it. The atmosphere was totally ‘Mamma Mia’! Suddenly we parents were quite cool! The singing was fantastic: a wide range, exciting harmonies and counter rhythms, upbeat and energising. Our daughters exchanged phone numbers so that they could plan in another "Sing" together, if you will excuse the pun! I would estimate that there are people from the ages of 9 to 90 at Sing Together and it actually makes us feel like a community. I can't explain what an amazing achievement that is in this day and age. I feel very proud just to be part of it.” Oonagh Dee
 
Sing Together - Naturally! has teamed up with The Scottish Centre for Intergenerational Practice (Scotcip) to launch an intergenerational singing programme across Scotland.  The project is to be called Generations Singing Together (GST).  For more details please click here to go to the Scotcip website and click here for details of specific projects.