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The Bus's Beginnings

Music on the Move, San Diego! grew out of prior experience with community-based programming in 2017. During this program, Villa Musica tested outdoor music classes under pop-up canopies at the Embarcadero in partnership with the San Diego Symphony. These classes were very popular during the summer. However, multiple vehicles were involved, and teaching artists schlepped class materials and instruments long distances from parking lots. The resulting expense and difficulty coordinating became a restriction to the continuation of the program. The ability to pack one vehicle with all program needs would be a game-changer.

While developing a plan for Music on the Move, San Diego!, it became clear that this program was ideally suited for serving seniors. The National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded Villa Musica a grant to expand its outreach to seniors, validating the quality of its work and the NEA’s commitment and understanding of the importance of music to this population.

Why Seniors?

Isolation, which results in loneliness and depression, is one of the largest threats to the health of America’s seniors. Yet, it remains among the most difficult to recognize. It’s a health risk not often discusses, but at least a quarter of seniors over 65 live with it. Its devastating effects can be felt physically, mentally, and emotionally. Human contact and interaction are essential parts of the human condition, and without a sense of community individuals, and our society as a whole, are at risk. Playing an instrument or singing provides an outlet for self-expression, creativity, dedication, skill development, adaptability, and a myriad of other important interactions.

Pandemic Pauses

While Villa Musica’s comprehensive initiative for seniors, ENCORE!, is temporarily on hold, in response to the initiative’s success, and the data that shows the population of seniors in San Diego County doubling by 2030, Villa Musica will be expanding ENCORE! and looks forward to adding Music on the Move, San Diego! to this important work.