“It’s better than any medicine!” – participant in LMN Ryedale project
Music can lift spirits, but it can also do much more. There is now hard evidence to show that music participation can help those living with dementia to engage and remember; and more generally, to 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.
Launched in May 2015, this initiative (originally titled “A Choir in Every Care Home”) is exploring how music and singing can feature regularly in care homes across the country. Funded and initiated by the Baring Foundation, it is a unique collaboration between 33 leading national organisations from the worlds of adult social care, music and healthcare research. It 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, providing cutting edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing. More about them here.
Over the course of the first year, senior representatives of all 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!
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. On this website, you can read our latest news and updates, or get in touch.
“The Baring Foundation has been funding in the field of arts and older people for the last five years. We believe that music has a unique magic not only for older residents but for the whole community of a care home. This 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