Based on the ambitious initiative Every Voice Choir, launched in 2015 by the Baring Foundation, Musica and Brighterkind teamed up this summer to establish its very own unique community choir.
Inspired by Sidney De Haan Research Centre, who provide cutting-edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing, the 10-week programme united residents and staff from Westbury Court Care Home with the local community, with the aim to improve the quality of life to residents and help their carers and family feel more positive.
The choir which consisted of 18 members, 10 of whom were members of the community, practiced a number of popular songs over the weeks including classic hits ‘Love Me Tender’ by Elvis Presley, and ‘A’ You’re Adorable’ by Perry Como.
Choir Leader Frankie Simpkins from Musica said “Right from the beginning I made it clear this was their choir, not mine. The choir took full ownership of their performances from choosing the final set list to experimenting with volume and tone building. I was delighted to see their progress develop over the weeks, and just as importantly the new friendships it has created on the back of the project”.
Evidence has found that care homes that sing and introduce music regularly are happier places as a result and can address each of the five questions the CQC consider when making their quality assessment of a care home. “Creativity and innovation are key ingredients in outstanding care homes, and regular singing and live music activities can help care homes positively address all five key questions our inspectors ask of care homes.” Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of the CQC.
The 10-week project came to a spectacular finish this week, with its very first public performance at Westbury Court Care Home. The high tea afternoon was a chance for the choir to perform to their friends and family, celebrating everything they have achieved over the weeks.
Musica would like to thank everyone that took part in this unique pilot project, and a special thank you to Brighterkind Westbury Court for being such fantastic partners and helping us make this project an outstanding success. You can find out more about A Choir in Every Care Home by visiting their website: https://achoirineverycarehome.wordpress.com/