In 2018 Community Music Cooperative were awarded £10K from the National Lottery Community Fund, to devise, project manage and deliver Singing With Dementia.
This project created regular participatory music sessions for people living with dementia in The Meadows care home, Greater Manchester and Woodhouse District and Community Forum, Sheffield.
After successful pilot concerts, these venues were chosen for their suitability to the project and the music began!
Two musicians visited both locations each month. They worked closely with staff and included the participants when deciding the music they would play. Sessions were well attended and the musicians developed a set list of material for each groups sessions which would often end up in a big sing along, including participants, familes and staff.
The core aims of Singing With Dementia were to increase feelings of well-being, self-worth and self confidence, create a sense of closeness with others through shared experiences and validate memories for those isolated by dementia.
Feedback was collated regularly throughout the project so the musicians were able to listen to staff recommendations and adopt a flexibile approach. Here’s some of the feedback….
“You’ve made life worth living”Meadows, resident
“The music really lifted the mood on the wards. Patients interacted who normally don’t. Great to see patients forget about their problems and relax”Meadows, staff
“Absolutely brilliant, outstanding! You’re going to come again arent’ you?”Woodhouses participant
Sessions started in September 2018, but stopped in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Keen for the project to continue, online sessions resumed in December 2020 until the project ended.