Collaboration

Celebrating ageing & supporting dementia through music

Concert flyer

Tonight I look forward to another of our D’Music’a concerts.  They are always a treat for me – an opportunity to see our choirs be acknowledged publicly for their consistent rehearsals, their improved sound together with each season and an opportunity to see family and friends to experience what’s possible with a dementia diagnosis.

This concert is a bit different and I’m particularly excited to celebrate with everyone because this time our choir members have not only contributed to the D’Music’a choir but have also given their time to work with over a dozen students from the Perse School.  Both groups have come together to form an intergenerational choir which will perform tonight. These upper sixth form students stepped up as part of the school’s community outreach project to volunteer with individuals with a dementia diagnosis. They didn’t start singing immediately, first we re-considered past experiences volunteering in spaces like acute hospitals and care homes and discussed why this experience would be different.  After learning about what happens for a person with a dementia diagnosis through workshops and talks from experts, the students spent an afternoon with participants of the Portals to the World museum programme participating alongside the alumni attending the session, an opportunity to focus on abilities over disabilities.

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Then the music started and for this last school term, the students and the community choir members have rehearsed under the guidance of the School’s music director and a graduate pianist.  An opportunity to sit side by side and speak openly about what it’s like to live with dementia.  I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what relationships would develop — it turned out to be a lovely co-volunteering experience that both groups took very seriously.

Considering the students’ early perceptions of dementia were quite tragic, including terms such as vulnerable, anger, frustration, distraught, helpless and sadness, the community members and I have a great respect for them for stepping up and being open to trying something new.  I really think they have enjoyed their efforts and tonight we’ll celebrate them.

No reason not to sing!

This year you have no excuse not to sing.  If you’ve been putting it off, not sure if it’s for you, or find it difficult to fit in your schedule, consider this season’s opportunities to join a choir and lend us your voice.

It seems every day there is more and more evidence that singing is good for us, whether we’re living with a dementia diagnosis or not.  There are still questions about how and why we have such strong relationships with music even when we have dementia and there are researchers seeking answers, both locally and further afield.

Starting today and through January, we are welcoming new choir members, especially those who have a dementia diagnosis and their families to join one (or more) of our choirs.  If you know someone who would benefit from a good hearty afternoon of song, lovely new friends and a supportive environment, please pass this information along.  If you are an active member of one of our choirs already, please consider joining our new collaboration with the Perse Upper School.  No singing experience is necessary.  As a group we have a lovely sound that is only made better with more voices.

We have spaces in our D’Music’a choir in Fulbourn village for individuals with a dementia diagnosis and their family members or care partners.  The choir rehearses on alternating Wednesdays beginning today January 6th from 1pm – 3pm at the Townley Memorial Hall in the Fulbourn Centre. We suggest a donation of £2 per person for each rehearsal. There will be an evening concert on 18 March.

We also have spaces in our D’Music’a choir in Reach village also for individuals with a dementia diagnosis and their family members or care partners.  This choir meets on alternating Wednesdays beginning 13 January from 1:30 – 3:30pm (a half hour later than the Fulbourn choir rehearsals), with an evening concert on 9 April.

And, finally, we have a new choir starting on Friday 15 January at the Perse Upper School.  This is a collaboration with a lovely group of upper sixth form students.  We will rehearse and perform at the school’s music hall.  Rehearsals will run from 2:30 – 4:30pm.  This is another opportunity to sing but it will also be an opportunity for you volunteer and help the students increase confidence and awareness of and around dementia while they earn school credit for community outreach. This choir opportunity is free and the concert date is still being arranged.

Whether or not you can join us, please do consider attending a concert (or two).  It’s great to have the strong audience — makes all the rehearsing worthwhile.  We’ll announce the concerts again at the end of January.

For more information, please ring us at 01223 911 622.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year you have no excuse not to sing.  If you’ve been putting it off, not sure if it’s for you, or find it difficult to fit in your schedule, consider this season’s opportunities to join a choir and lend us your voice.

It seems every day there is more and more evidence that singing is good for us, whether we’re living with a dementia diagnosis or actively working to prevent getting it.  There are still questions about how and why we have such strong relationships with music even when we have dementia and there are researchers seeking answers, both locally and further afield.

Starting today and through January, we are welcoming new choir members, especially those who have a dementia diagnosis and their families to join one (or more) of our choirs.  If you know of someone who would benefit from a good hearty afternoon of song, lovely new friends and a supportive environment, please pass this information along.  If you are an active member of one of our choirs already, please consider joining our new collaboration with the Perse Upper School.  No singing experience is necessary.  As a group we have a lovely sound that is only made better with more voices.

We have spaces in our D’Music’a choir in Fulbourn village for individuals with a dementia diagnosis and their family members or care partners.  The choir rehearses on alternating Wednesdays beginning today 6 January from 1pm – 3pm at the Townley Memorial Hall in the Fulbourn Centre. We suggest a donation of £2 per person for each rehearsal. There will be an evening concert on 18 March.

We also have spaces in our D’Music’a choir in Reach village also for individuals with a dementia diagnosis and their family members or care partners.  This choir meets on alternating Wednesdays beginning 13 January from 1:30 – 3:30pm (a half hour later than the Fulbourn choir rehearsals), with an evening concert on 9 April.

And, finally, we have a new choir starting on Friday 15 January at the Perse Upper School.  This is a collaboration with a lovely group of upper sixth form students.  We will rehearse and perform at the school’s music hall.  Rehearsals will run from 2:30 – 4:30pm.  This is another opportunity to sing but it will also be an opportunity for you to help the students increase confidence and awareness of dementia while they earn school credit for community outreach. This choir opportunity is free and the concert date is still being arranged.

Whether or not you can join us, please do consider attending a concert (or two).  It’s great to have the strong audience — makes all the rehearsing worthwhile.  We’ll announce the concerts again at the end of January.

 

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Upcoming events & the community calendar

If you haven’t noticed yet, we have a new interactive community calendar available on our website which is aimed at individuals living with dementia as well as supporting health and social care professionals.  I’d like to draw your attention to some upcoming events that have been recently posted:

Next week, the University Campus Suffolk hosts the Innovations in Dementia conference.  This is a regional event highlighting some of the latest trends and opportunities supporting living well with dementia.  I will be presenting on the skills and techniques we use at dementiaCOMPASS around successful exercise participation for individuals with dementia which is in line with some research and programming happening in Suffolk this summer.  I’m also excited to say that BeneBoost will make its debut there with sample packs offered to all conference participants. Wednesday, 17 July

The following day, we’re looking forward to our d’music’a summer concert.  This is our ninth public concert — Wow! We’ve been singing for three years and we just get better and better.  Join us for our free concert. Thursday, 18 July

In August our activities take a break and we host a series of days out instead.  We’re looking forward to our annual cream tea on the riverboat Georgina when we’ll travel along the River Cam for two hours and enjoy the lovely views from the river. Wednesday, 7 August

We’re welcoming newcomers to our Portals to the World taster session where participants can decide whether they would like to participate in our upcoming Portals course starting in September and lasting nine weeks. Thursday, 15 August

Following that, we’ll gather at the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge for lunch and a wander through the stunning gardens. Wednesday, 21 August.

Additionally, we have added regularly offered support groups happening around Cambridgeshire, so do take a look around the calendar for other opportunities that might interest you.

Hope to see you soon!

 

 

 

 

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