Remembering Things is Difficult – Singing is Easier
People with dementia and memory loss can struggle to remember things on their life but singing a song seems easy to a lot of people with dementia. The words to the songs seem easy to remember if it is a song they are familiar with. Singing is great fun and can also help a person to feel better and improve their confidence, with others, build self esteem and help give a better quality of life.
We use singing to give stimulation to people with dementia.
“Singing for the Brain” is not a new idea and is well documented how people with dementia respond positively to singing and music.
Singing therapy is great and we at Asquith Hall have welcomed the Swell singers who are just fantastic to get you in a great mood. Hits old and new and lovely company from a great team of people who just enjoy singing.
- The artist leading the session and will deal with all practicalities about the session.
- Swell Singers are a group of Singing Ambassadors from the organisation Hoot in Huddersfield. Our Swell Singers are made up from people from our older people’s choirs (55 plus) who love the type of singing we do so much and feel it has such benefits that they want to take singing out to other people. Individually they feel they have benefited in terms of health and well-being (both physical and emotional/mental) but also in terms of individual self confidence and building friendships and connections. With me they have learnt a repertoire of well known popular songs in harmony in order to take singing out into the community. They are not professional singers but they have a real love of singing and a passion for sharing that.
- What we offer is a short performance/sharing from our repertoire of songs (this includes Pocketful of Starlight, Lean on Me, Singing in the Rain etc) – then we encourage people to join in and even have a go at some harmonies – the great thing about the Swell Singers is that participants will be surrounded and supported by confident voices – so we will want to mix in with people once we’ve done our short sharing. We then offer to finish with a singalong and ask you to suggest favourite songs – ideally songs you know your residents particularly like or that mean something to them. Please let me know as soon as possible what the songs are so I can research and learn them and let the Swell Singers know what we will be doing.
- The session is well led and is needed to be flexible and responsive – and the Swell Singers have been briefed on this too.
- Our session is for EVERYONE – residents, staff and relatives and we would love people to come along BUT we do ask that staff and relatives are prepared to join in. We realise some residents may not want to or be able to and that is fine – we think for residents that listening and being surrounded by sound maybe as important as joining in. Just to re-assure relatives and staff I (and the Swell Singers) are committed to singing for everyone and have many years experience of teaching singing in the most inclusive and supportive way – so there is no sheet music, no-one needs to read music and no-one is put on the spot.
- We may well bring some props – just small things like umbrellas/wet weather gear for Singing in the Rain and possibly so small hand held percussion just to make it fun and give people other ways to join in.
- I currently have 11 singers coming plus myself but there may well be a few more – a wouldn’t anticipate more than 15 maximum.
- We don’t need any equipment i.e. keyboard etc as everything is done with our voices and we don’t use amplification
- It would be great if folk could be seated in a semi circle with space for us to get in and around them but we realise that depends on the room you have available.
- Our Swell Singers have also taken part in Diversity and Dementia Awareness Training as well as their singing rehearsals.