A Choir In Every Care Home – Launching A New Initiative

Launching in May 2015, “A Choir in Every Care Home” is an ambitious new initiative to explore how singing can feature regularly in care homes across the country. Funded and initiated by the Baring Foundation, it is a unique collaboration between 25 leading national organisations from the worlds of adult social care, music and healthcare research.

It is being 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, providing cutting edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing.

Over the course of the coming year, the 25 national organisations will meet regularly to share knowledge, understand what works, undertake research and consultation, and actively create the conditions to make every care home a singing home! Singing can lift spirits, but it can also do so much more. There is now hard evidence to show that music participation can help those living with dementia to engage and remember; alleviate the effects of breathing diseases; reduce stress and anxiety; and build relationships

between residents, carers and staff. We want to find the best ways to bring these benefits to older people, and support care homes to take part, on an ambitious scale.

Together, we hope 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 70% of the growing numbers of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems (according to the Alzheimer’s Society). Effective and cost-effective solutions must be found.

“It’s better than any medicine!” participant in LMN Ryedale project

“The Baring Foundation has been funding in the field of arts and older people for the last five years. We believe that singing has a unique magic not only for older residents but for the whole community of a care home. This is broad consortium is a great basis for a project which we hope will bring that magic to thousands of people.” – David Cutler, The Baring Foundation.

“This hugely important initiative will bring music to people who might be living the final years of their lives in loneliness or confusion. I have seen countless times that there is nothing like music to bring people together to create a safe and happy environment where human relationships can flourish.” Julian Lloyd Webber, LMN Ambassador