Measham PPG 'Silver Singers' Group
A singing and music therapy activity for people with dementia and their carers in Measham.
The 'Silver Singers' Singing and Music Therapy project takes place in a Church Hall in Measham, fortnightly on Tuesday afternoons.
This is a social prescribing initiative set up by Measham Medical Unit Patient Participation Group which provides a fun, interactive and therapeutic afternoon, based around music, for people with dementia, as well as their carers.
Sessions are led by a qualified and highly experienced Music Therapist (from Chiltern Music Therapy), who delivers a range of activities, including physical and vocal warm-ups, singing of familiar and new songs, conversation and use of hand-held percussion and body percussion techniques.
The group is dynamic and responsive to the needs of participants, with themes emerging related to the weather and seasons, memories of past events/eras and a range of musical genres. The group work as a whole and in smaller sub-groups with the music therapist and volunteers providing 1:1 support within the group context as needed.
The group has been running since February 2018 and continues to be popular with local people, with between 12 and 18 participants attending each session. As well as being a fun, lively activity which provides social interactions and connections with others, there are also many therapeutic benefits, with music helping to provide cognitive stimulation, as well as supporting memory.
Each week, all participants are asked how they feel before and at the end of the session. Statistics collected show that respondents consistently report a positive change in mood, at the end of the session, compared to at the beginning of the session.
Some of the feedback from participants includes:
"I enjoy this afternoon, on other days I just sit around"
"I walk through the door and I'm there"
"It's a nice place to come. You don't feel left out of place, everyone joins in"
"It's amazing what you can remember"
"This is the highlight of our week"
Year 1 of the project was funded through a SHIRE Community Grant, with National Lottery Community Funding secured for the next few years.