Project: Music therapy sessions
Fund: Prevention Matters
The aim of the Prevention Matters fund was to provide seed funding for projects that will reduce social isolation and improve the health & wellbeing amongst people in Buckinghamshire with moderate to substantial support needs. This included people with learning disabilities, people with mental health concerns or older people with limited social networks.
Chiltern Music Therapy (CMT) were awarded funding to develop and improve their services to provide a weekly half-day Music Therapy service in three locations across Buckinghamshire.
One of the sessions CMT implemented is called Silver Singers; a choir that aims to connect people together through music and singing, and improve the lives of those socially isolated in the community. The group is open to all older adults, including those with age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
CMT carried out initial pilot sessions and found the group to be extremely valuable to those attending, with many reporting that the sessions have helped with anxiety or a lack of self-confidence.
Coming to Silver Singers has enabled him to revisit his passion for music and give him somewhere safe and consistent to come each week. The group has given him lots of enjoyment.
– A volunteer commenting on a service user with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s
Recently CMT moved the location of their Chesham session to the Elgiva Theatre and their attendance numbers increased from 8 to 25. They are now having to put on an additional groups to manage numbers and are considering moving their other groups to public spaces too.
John, who attends Silver Singers in Chesham, had sung in choirs all his life, including singing in massed choirs at major Cathedrals. He appreciates how singing now brings back memories, and how he can remember more words as lyrics than prose.
John recalled getting involved in singing because his wife liked performing in amateur dramatics, he initially helped out backstage but soon got involved with the singing too.
When John visits his wife in her care home he gets everyone there singing and he himself, feels less isolated.