I was enthralled to watch Vicky McClure’s “Dementia Choir” recently on BBC 1 which served to reinforce the benefits I am seeing on a regular basis during my Motivational Music sessions across many Yorkshire care homes. People living with dementia will often feel agitated and restless, but singing helps them feel calmer and more animated. By the end of a session their mood has lifted and often they will engage in some form of interaction and communication with others in their group. It is wonderful to see how the whole energy of the room has lifted.
The right song can instantly transport someone back in time and elicit strong emotions even if they haven’t heard it for years. It is such a privilege to witness a person who cannot speak singing along to a song which has been tucked away deep inside their brain.
I’m also delighted to learn that a national campaign called Music for Dementia 2020 hopes to make some form of music available for everyone with dementia by the year 2020.
I was delighted to be able to dress up in costume and encourage everyone to sing along with me at the recent commemoration events which took place in Stamford Bridge and Sutton-Upon-Derwent throughout the weekend of the 10th and 11th November 2018. It has been inspirational watching how communities across the country have united to commemorate the millions of people and animals who gave their lives in service of our country during the First World War atrocities.
Although commemorating some very dark and difficult times in our past, such commemorations are right up my street as I particularly love the music from the Music Hall, WWI and WW2 eras and the opportunity to encourage audiences to sing along and have some fun at the same time. Music is such a tonic.
This video captures a few of the songs that I sang during the “Stamford Bridge Remembers” event on Saturday 10th November, in the lovely Village Hall at Stamford Bridge, York and demonstrates some of the tremendous work carried out by their community in commemoration of the eleven local men who lost their lives during WW1.
I am delighted to have been asked to lead the sing along session of WWI songs at Stamford Bridge’s special celebrations to commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI, 100 years of the RAF and 100 years of the Suffragettes. The event will take place on Saturday 10th November 2018 in the Stamford Bridge Village Hall.
It promises to be a great evening with music from The New York Dance Band and further entertainment from The Pokies.
Tickets go on sale on 10th October from The Post Office, Stamford Bridge.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to two British Legion homes for disabled veterans.
“Ooh aah ooh aah” is the favourite expressions of one of the lovely gentleman in our group.
This week, his catchphrase prompted me to dig out some cowboy hats and blonde pig tail wigs from my dressing up box and get us all singing along to “I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester” at our Music for the Mind” session. Well done everyone and thank you all for joining in the fun and getting dressed up. Our fortnightly sessions are all about expressing ourselves and creating some new memories in a fun, positive, caring and supportive environment.
I’m looking forward to our Music for the Mind session next Monday on 19th February.
Please forward to anyone you know living with dementia or who is looking after someone with the illness. Our sing along sessions are great fun and a good opportunity to make some new friends. Everyone is welcome.
I was really excited to read the following BBC News item about a project called “Songs and Smiles” on line yesterday.
In a care home in Walthamstow, north-east London, babies, toddlers and elderly residents are coming together to sing and play musical instruments together.
“Songs and Smiles” is a “Together Project” founded by Louise Goulden, who whilst on maternity leave brought young and old together to help reduce loneliness and have a positive impact on those residents who have dementia. What a wonderful idea!
“Songs & Smiles is a wonderful project that bridges the gap between generations. Our residents get so much out of it, I’d recommend it to any care home” – Depak Luckhan, Manager of Ross Wyld Care Home, London
Another great Music for the Mind session this afternoon. Our group are doing really well and their singing is definitely improving each time we meet. Today we had a whole lot of fun doing The Grand Old Duke Of York with actions!!
A big thank you Gill Cain, Rachel Liddell, Zoe Lyons and Wendy Allan for all your help and support in making this another fun musical afternoon 😘😘
Even though the flu bug and icy conditions outside kept some regulars away, our Music for the Mind sessions are continuing to produce better and better results. This week we had two soloists and saw a severely disabled resident clapping. Absolutely heart warming. Just love these sessions and everyone who takes part. A big thank you to everyone who is helping to make them such a success.
It is most encouraging to read a Daily Express online article today, endorsing the benefits that singing and listening to our favourite songs brings to those living with dementia.
Our fortnightly “Music for the Mind” sessions at the Beaumont, Stamford Bridge are already bringing health benefits to those attending our group since September 2017, including improved mood, increased confidence and self esteem. It was so rewarding at our last session to witness an elderly lady who had previously been quite withdrawn sing to the whole group on her own.
Our next Music for the Mind session will take on Monday 22nd January 2018 between 1.30 – 3.00pm in Stamford Bridge YO41 1AJ.
Please share to anyone you know living in Stamford Bridge; The Cattons; Wilberfoss; Sutton upon Derwent; Newton upon Derwent; Barmby Moor; Pocklington and its’ surrounding villages who cares for someone living with dementia at home. We’d love you to come and join our Music for the Mind group. Our sessions provide a chance to sing and make music in a safe and friendly environment.