Singing songs for all the ages at the Friedberg JCC


Singers young and old gathered at the Barry and Florence Friedberg Jewish Community Center in Oceanside to perform and express their development in music therapy.

On June 13, five children paired with five seniors to sing in front of an audience of roughly 50 friends and family in celebration of the community center’s second Intergenerational Music and Mentoring Program.

The program, led by music therapist Jason Kloos, entails five months of weekly sessions of musical expression, vocal exercises and music therapy through song. The purpose is for youth to foster relationships with older adults with the goal of helping the kids “come out of their shell,” according to program director Lori Innella-Venne.

The children and seniors belted out familiar tunes such as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “For Good” from the hit Broadway show “Wicked.” Each child was also given the opportunity to deliver a solo.

“It was just nice to get everyone together in a room to perform in front of an audience … and see how they developed over the year,” Innella-Venne said. She added that all participants reached the goal set by their teacher Kloos, which was “to grow musically with regard to building on each individual’s character.”

The Friedberg JCC hopes to hold the program for a third time next year, as it has continued to grow since its inception last year.