Music provides inspiration, motivation, and lifts the spirit. It can often be heard throughout the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center, whether it’s popular hits or the voices of the Center’s members. This past February, to commemorate Black History Month, the Center was filled with the musical talents of students from Discovery Charter School.

“To see young people come here and perform such a wonderful program was really something to see,” Suedell Cirwithen, a member at the West Philadelphia Senior Community Center, joyfully shares.

There’s nothing like witnessing young people come in and share their creativity. Most of us are grandparents, so there is pride in seeing them do something positive and artistic.

Suedell Cirwithen, member at The Center

“Having students come to the Center bridges the gap between the two groups where they learn a little more about the Center and our seniors,” Julia Diggs, Program Manager for the Center says. “It’s also a great opportunity for our members to see what’s happening in the schools within their neighborhoods.”

Throughout the performance, students shared songs that bear cultural significance to the African American experiences, including Wade in the Water and Oh Freedom. Additionally, several students demonstrated their skills at tap dancing.

“It’s hard for me to pick out a favorite part of the performance. They did an amazing job. The time we were able to spend with the young people afterward was really enjoyable,” Suedell relays. “It was wonderful to see them glow when we told them how well they did. Speaking with young people keeps us young too. It’s always interesting to find out what they’re interested in, and what the latest trends are. It’s wonderful.”

The experience was equally appreciated by the talented performers. “The choir performance at the Senior Center was a valuable experience because the seniors got a chance to share some of their wisdom with the students. They told us how to do better in school, and to listen to our parents,” Saniya, an 8th-grade student, shares. “In turn, the students were able to bless the seniors with wonderful music, while we received positive feedback.”

Music is a universal language. No matter who you are or where you’re from, music speaks to you and your soul,

Tanya Murphy, music teacher for Discovery Charter School

“Developing a connection between generations can create a sense of fulfillment for both older adults and young people. By sharing their experience both groups open up new worlds and understandings that builds a better path for their lives.”

The West Philadelphia Senior Community Center is a beloved neighborhood hub for adults ages 50 and better that empowers members to live well in body, mind, and spirit. Check out all of their exciting activities by visiting them on our website and clicking here!

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