Special Interest Choirs
Here, we look at choirs in the community that are friendly to, and made with, people living with conditions like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. These choirs support people, their families, and carers.
In recent years we’ve seen the creation of choirs supporting people living with brain health conditions that are more prevalent in older age, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. We’ve also seen community choirs evolving into these types of choirs as their members age and they wished to keep singing.
Groups that set out to be inclusive and welcoming are continuing to evolve this tradition. As public health and science catches up, new understanding and training is becoming available with the intention of supporting both the individual, at all stages of these difficult illnesses, and their partners, families and friends who are impacted.
Singing can offer a channel of communication when other faculties like spatial memory, facial recognition, and movement are challenged. Musical patterns and rhythms have been shown to help patients with Parkinson’s navigate their balance and movement. Even for people with advanced conditions, music and singing can trigger memories, comfort, and joy. Moments that might create a spark of recognition or reduce stress, fear, and anxiety. Singers may not be able to articulate where they are, but they can articulate how where they are makes them feel. Even in advanced stages of illness people can improvise music with sensitive support.
Guidebook 2: Special Interest Choirs
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