BBC Concert Orchestra Makes Music For People With Dementia

The BBC Concert Orchestra is recording a CD of special musical accompaniments for people with dementia and their carers, this Friday (13 December) at Maida Vale studios in London, as part of their association with Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing for the Brain.

Singing for the Brain® is a programme developed by Alzheimer’s Society for people with memory problems and promotes communication through singing which can help with articulation, concentration, focus and motivation. Specially trained facilitators deliver a varied programme of vocal, rhythmic and gentle physical exercise and dance, along with songs from different eras and styles.

Even when many memories are hard to retrieve, music can sometimes still be recalled – if only for a short while. The sessions help people with dementia communicate improving their mood and leaving them feeling good about themselves.

Last summer, musicians from the BBC Concert Orchestra joined Singing for the Brain groups in Bristol, Telford, Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead for a series of special sessions incorporating live musical accompaniment.

Following the success of the live sessions, the BBC Concert Orchestra decided to record a CD of the special tracks so that all of the 210 Singing for the Brain groups across England, Wales and Northern Ireland can recreate the special sessions during their weekly groups.

Kathryn Smith, Director of Operations at Alzheimer’s Society said:

‘Singing for the Brain brings such joy to thousands of people with dementia and their carers up and down the country, but the addition of the BBC Concert Orchestra added a whole new element for the lucky groups they visited. From the Jungle Book to Beatles classics, we are delighted all our group members will now be able to experience musical accompaniment alongside their wonderful singing.’

Claire Barnes, Learning Manager, BBC Concert Orchestra said:

‘I am delighted that we can offer this opportunity to record a CD of some of the arrangements that we performed live to the Singing for the Brain groups during 2013.  This is a great way to spread the work that we have started with Alzheimer’s Society and I am looking forward to continuing our work with new groups during 2014.’















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