CASE STUDY: Improvising Generations

February 2017




Improvising Generations was a pilot three-day dance, music, improvisation and film project which was devised by Hertfordshire Music Service and managed by Carrie Washington (BEEE Creative) with artistic input from ActOne ArtsBase. Taking place at Mid Herts Centre for Music and Arts in Hatfield, the project worked with young people with and without disabilities and older adults. The three-day process resulted in an informal performance to an invited audience and a film about the project. The project arose and was driven by a focus to design a model for future participation in dance and music for older adults and the development of leadership skills for young people. Hertfordshire Music Service funded the project.


  1. Fifty percent of the participants of Improvising Generations project in Hatfield in February 2017 have a self-identified improved sense of wellbeing, as measured by the SF-12.
  2. By the end of the three-day project, fifty percent of the participants feel a closer connection to other people, as measured by SWEMWBS.
  3. Halve the participants to identify by the end of the three days in February 2017 that they feel they have made a positive contribution to the development of the project, as measured by qualitative data collection.


  • The participants rated all the overall feedback about the project, including the content and presentation/delivery, as good, very good and excellent.
  • There were no specific changes identified in the well-being statistics and all the participants were already engaged in regular dance activity and had a good perception of their own health and well-being.
  • Participants and practitioners identified the positive impact of using live music and dance as a combination, as it acted as a leveller between everyone and produced positive emotional feelings.
  • Participants identified it being a privilege to work across the generations and with professional artistic practitioners. Equally the artists involved felt positive about the exchanges of ideas and the connections developed