We were treated to a great post-lunch waker-upper at the recent Arts in Care Seminar. Debra Salem, a folk-and-blues singer (visit Debra’s site and click the juke box symbol for a blast of her fabulous voice) addressed the 100+ audience. ‘We’re going to sing together,’ she said, ‘let it all hang out!’ And I must confess that I had an inner cringe. But I was completely wrong. We went through some puffing and blowing exercises and soon were belting it out – all together, in rounds, and then, amazingly, in harmony – all within a 15 minute time slot!
Just before lunch, Margaret Meagher, from Arts and Health Australia, had extolled the virtues of singing and quoted an article in the Independent newspaper a few years ago which claimed that there are now more community choirs in the UK than fish and chip shops!
FiOP runs courses on worshipping with people with dementia, on which our inspiring associates Mary Moffett and Sue Kirkbride remind us again and again that music is a great way of helping people with advanced dementia to reach joyfully back into their sense of themselves and of God. And we hear frequent tales of delight from Alzheimer Scotland’s choirs for people with early onset dementia. Maybe we should have a singing day … ‘getting in touch with your inner Maria Callas / Proclaimers / Petula Clark’ … any takers?