Singing, Dementia & Voices 4 Health

Just in case you found today’s Blog post too contentious, here’s another to get your teeth into. Hope it gets as much interest, if not more so, than the previous one. God knows it deserves too!

V4H Christmas

The Voices 4 Health NHS Choir singing at a Nursing Home

So on Thursday evening 20 of us for the NHS Voices 4 Health Choir put on our Santa hats and Christmas Jumpers and headed to a local nursing home. While setting up I had the chance to talk to some of the residents. Some were frail elderly; some others had levels of confusion or dementia asking “Where am I?” or “When can I go home” or talking about relatives and loved ones from the past.
We started with a carol and then sang one of our pieces: The Little Road to Bethlehem. After that I asked them for an X-Factor style vote. Did they want to sing Angels from the Realms of Glory or Ding Dong Merrily on High. The second one got the loudest cheer and so that is what we sang. And when we got to the chorus “Glor…….or…or.or…or…or…ia Hosanna In Excelsis”, I looked up and many of the residents were joining in with beaming faces. One lady in the front was obviously enjoying herself so much. Now what is remarkable, is that many of those who were joining in were the very ones who, in my initial chats, wouldn’t have been able to say where they lived or where they were now. But to sing along with a carol was not problem; and, in fact, more than that, they gained some happiness from it.
Music has the power to bring joy and healing. It has the ability to bring back to mind events long since lost in the mists of time. It has the facility to transport people to happier places. I know this because this is what it does for me.
So, on the surface we were just one of many choirs visiting nursing homes this Christmas, but deep down – who knows – we might have been the instruments which gave these lovely people some respite from their condition.
I believe that music can reduce physical pain; that it can salve wounded emotions; and that it can heal deep wounds in the soul. So I hope we can return there soon to bring some more healing.

Please let me know if this is your experience too. You can comment on this blog.

Note: Unlike other blogs and sites I have to APPROVE comments before they are posted so that they do not cause untold concern or hurt. Only comments which are in line with the ethos of the Blog will be approved. Abusive and personal comments will be assigned to where they should be- “The TRASH” – or the rubbish bin in English 🙂


One response to “Singing, Dementia & Voices 4 Health

  1. Arthur, Katherine \(Laurel- Haematology Unit\)

    Hi David,
    So glad you are blogging again!
    The comments about music are so so so so TRUE!
    Best wishes for a peaceful Christmas to you and your family

    Kate Arthur

    Haematology Research Nurse (funded by Cure Leukaemia)

    01905 760226 (direct line)
    ext: 34782

    [Description: Description: Macintosh HD:Users:CureLeukaemia:Desktop:MEDIA:LOGOS:CURE LEUKAEMIA:CL LOGO:logo_full_res.png]

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