University of Tulsa freshmen Shaun Roberts and Chance Jackson have opted for a distinctive living arrangement, choosing to reside at Montereau, a local senior living community in Tulsa, instead of traditional on-campus dorms. In exchange for free accommodation, the students engage in musical activities, including hosting concerts and music practices, as part of a successful partnership program between the university and the non-profit senior community. This initiative addresses concerns related to the reported loneliness epidemic affecting one in four older individuals globally.
Roberts and Jackson, both music majors at the university’s School of Music, present a variety of musical genres, encompassing jazz, classical, and contemporary melodies, to the senior residents. The unusual living arrangement provides an educational experience for the students, offering daily lessons and insights from the older residents. The program emphasizes the opportunity to spread the joy of music, with the duo considering it a significant aspect.
Residents at Montereau appreciate the presence of the young adults, finding it refreshing and enjoyable. Nick Kerpon, a resident, likened the students to “grandkids,” highlighting the positive impact of intergenerational connections. The collaboration has extended to exploring additional opportunities, including a Veterans’ program.
Roberts and Jackson acknowledge the valuable life lessons learned from living at Montereau, emphasizing the importance of living in the present moment and not being preoccupied with the past or future. The initiative fosters a sense of connection and mutual enrichment between the younger and older generations, contributing to a unique and meaningful living experience. The program reflects a creative response to addressing social challenges faced by older individuals and exemplifies the positive outcomes of intergenerational living arrangements.