Health & wellbeing

Music Education UK

SCO Reconnect

Edinburgh, UK

SCO ReConnect is a programme of interactive, creative music workshops for people living with dementia.

This project provides a series of music sessions in which patients are invited and supported to sing, play instruments, improvise and listen. Sessions are delivered by a specialist workshop leader and two SCO musicians and involve dementia patients, visiting family members and NHS staff.

A Choir in Every Care Home includes a set of free resources to inspire and support care homes to engage with music

Launched in May 2015, A Choir in Every Care Home explores how music and singing can feature regularly in care homes across the country.

The project hopes to improve the quality of life for people in care homes and help create happy environments for carers, family and care home staff. This is urgently needed as, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, 70% of the growing number of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.

A Choir in Every Care Home is led by three major organisations in the field: Live Music Now, which provides national leadership for musicians working in the care sector, Sound Sense, the UK professional association for community music, and the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, providing cutting-edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing.

Over the course of the first year, senior representatives of these national organisations met regularly to share knowledge, understand what works, undertake research and consultation and actively create the conditions to make every care home a singing home.

The project relaunched on 20 September 2017 with presentations at the Best Practice in the Care Home Sector conference in Birmingham and the Kindness Can: A Positive Future for Loneliness conference in London.

Header photo: A Choir in Every Care Home includes a set of free resources to inspire and support care homes to engage with music

'Lullaby' concert in CLS's Growth through Music programme © Paul Coghlin

Meet the Music

Piano House, Brighton Terrace, London SW9, United Kingdom

City of London Sinfonia‘s Meet the Music programme spends over 170 days a year in the community making music with 14,000+ people.

Current Meet the Music projects include:

  • Wellbeing through Music. This takes place in healthcare settings, where City of London Sinfonia (CLS) musicians deliver performances, often at patients’ bedsides, as well as end-of-term projects for young children in major London teaching hospitals such as Great Ormond Street. They also undertake regular visits to care homes in North London, making music with Holocaust survivors or people suffering from dementia. Plans for the next three years include creating a body of research around the effectiveness of these projects, going beyond the anecdotal and providing clinical evidence as to their effectiveness.
  • Growth through Music. This sees CLS musicians working with very young children (aged 3-7) in communities that are geographically or economically isolated, including rural Suffolk and Tower Hamlets. Working closely with schools and music education hubs, CLS addresses a significant gap in provision for children at a crucial time in their academic and social development, performing for children and families through its Crash Bang Wallop! and Lullaby concert series and creating interactive first-time orchestral experiences for teenagers and young people through its First Time Live projects in collaboration with Orchestras Live.

Header photo: Lullaby concert in CLS’s Growth through Music programme © Paul Coghlin