Grandparents play an important role in the family structure and can offer support, guidance, and love to their grandchildren. A strong connection between grandparents and grandchildren can contribute to the family’s overall well-being. However, intergenerational communication can be challenging due to the significant age difference between these two generations. With globalization and immigration, cross-cultural intergenerational relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren are becoming more common. The language barrier also adds difficulty for these two generations.
Music can serve as a powerful medium for promoting social interaction, whether it be through collaborating in music creation, sharing music tastes, expressing and sharing emotions, or simply listening to music together. This study aims to explore how music can support intergenerational social interaction between grandparents and their young grandchildren. To answer questions such as what kind of social interaction music can support, what kind of interactive musical activities can be designed, what kind of technology can be involved in preparing for these activities, what users’ expected gains are from participating in such activities, and what design considerations exist. I conducted user interviews with three families to gain insights into user needs and expectations. Additionally, I interviewed three music therapists to understand design considerations. In the end, I provided speculative design ideations for future design illustrations and implementations.