Most seniors spend the spring enjoying what is left of college before the real world hits. For Jake Sokoloff, his last year at Elon University has consisted of months of hard work, hours of interviews and hundreds of pages of transcribed notes.

All of this has culminated into a pan-generational performance that puts the spotlight on a marginalized part of society — senior citizens. Sokoloff, an Elon College Fellow, wanted his undergraduate research to look at how music can be more than just entertainment.

“I wanted to look at the human elements of entertainment and how we can reach people on a deeper level,” Sokoloff said.

To do this, he spent hours listening to senior citizens talk. He combined these stories into a performance that allows the seniors to share their lives while being accompanied by the songs they grew up with.

“It’s a collection of stories woven with music from their era,” said Jane Wellford, professor of performing arts and Sokoloff’s research mentor.

The show, titled “They Can’t Take That Away From Me: Stories From an Unforgettable Generation,” is performed entirely by 18 residents of The Village at Brookwood located in Burlington. This senior living retirement community has several different stages of care on site, meaning its residents vary in health and physical ability.

“The group is telling the collective story of their generation,” Sokoloff said. “They have this elevated responsibility to tell their stories to the people in the audience.”

Sokoloff began interviewing the Brookwood residents in spring 2014. In the time since, he has interviewed 12 residents, including his own grandmother, Claire Kaminsky, who inspired the project.

She lived with Sokoloff’s family while he was growing up, and the two have a very close relationship. Sokoloff said their relationship remained strong after he left for Elon.

“She said she missed me so much because no one listened to her, sat and talked with her,” Sokoloff said. “Everyone should feel like they have an ear when they need it.”

This led Sokoloff to team up with Brookwood, where not all of the residents had someone to lend an ear. For the interviews, he compiled a list of music from the 30s, 40s and 50s that could remind the residents of memories connected to these songs.

“I wanted to use [music] as a tool to access memories that had been forgotten,” Sokoloff said. “Music is truly unlike everything else. It affects us in a way nothing else can.”

Wellford said it took more than music to persuade the residents to open up.

“[Sokoloff] had a gift for listening and being at home with these residents during their interviews,” she said. “Jake made them very comfortable with sharing their stories.”

After the interviews, Sokoloff selected what stood out and split them into major life themes, such as childhood and building a family. He selected up to four stories per theme and incorporated the music of the era into section. The songs include “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland.

“Anyone with a grandparent, living or deceased, will want to see this,” Wellford said.

Sokoloff agreed but said this performance is about more than that.

“It’s about taking time to slow down and remember how important it is to connect with people on a real, physical level,” he said.

The two performances of “They Can’t Take That Away from Me: Stories from an Unforgettable Generation” will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 19-20 at The Village at Brookwood, Village Square, 1860 Brookwood Ave., Burlington.