This week the Kaleidoscope Community Choir gave a special performance at the Cavendish Hospital in Buxton. The patients of the Spencer Ward, who suffer from dementia and other mental health problems, were delighted to welcome us into their lounge for a sing song. Led by musical director Carol Bowns, the choir sang some of their favourite songs including Love Me Tender, My Bonnie, and an interesting alternative arrangement of Amazing Grace. The patients and staff of the ward particularly enjoyed hearing the choir’s own special song – Distant Peak – which was written for the choir by one of their own singers Jacob Eckert. Distant Peak is performed with an accompanying slideshow of images of the Peak District, also taken by Jacob. The patients found it particularly moving to see such beautiful photographs of the familiar landscape around the Peak District which emphasis the descriptive power of the words of this special song.
Lots of research shows that music, and particularly singing, can help people suffering from dementia – reducing anxiety and increasing cognitive ability We have seen this first hand in our performances on the Spencer Ward. Patients are moved to tears, smiles and laughter by familiar songs. We have also seen patients who struggle with communication come to life during our performances and join in with our songs or give their own performance of a favourite song.
Members of the Kaleidoscope Community Choir would like to thank the staff and patients of the Spencer Ward for inviting us to perform for them – we hope to return very soon.
Claire Barlow Literary & Outreach Manager