Singing Together

A new activity has just been launched at East Cheshire Hospice and it looks set to hit just the right chord.

“Singing Together” is a monthly session designed specifically for those with dementia and their loved ones who will spend a morning singing some of their all-time favourite tunes.

The sessions are the brainchild of Claire Halsey, the Project Lead for the Community Dementia Companion Service, following a successful musical session before Christmas.

“There’s been quite a bit of research into how important singing can be for those with dementia – music can often unlock memories and bring people to the happiest times in their lives  and it can provide a way for people and their carers to express themselves and socialise in a fun and supportive way,” says Claire.

The sessions will be led by Musical Moments, an award-winning company that specialises in providing music and activities for older people and those living with dementia.

Musical Moments was founded by 27-year-old Beckie Morley from Congleton who studied classical music at Leeds College of Music. On graduating in 2011 she realised that her talents could benefit those with dementia. The company now runs sessions throughout England.

“At University I had a placement in a care home and that’s when I realised how powerful music can be as a therapy,” she says. “We use a variety of music therapy techniques during the sessions which combine live and recorded music from a range of eras and musical genres”.

Those attending the first “Singing Together” session were led by Vicky Thornton who sang and played the ukulele to encourage the group.

The music meetings will be given an added music dimension by working with Playlist for Life, a music and dementia charity that helps people to personalise their favourite music. With the help of trained volunteers, those attending will be supported and encouraged to make a soundtrack to their lives.

“We all have songs that evoke special memories,” says Claire Halsey, “With the help of Playlist for Life we can use the music of a person’s life to keep them connected.”

“We are starting off the sessions with an invited small group but hope to expand as demand grows,” says Claire Halsey.

The Singing Together sessions will be held on the first Friday of every month at the Sunflower Centre. Further information is available from Claire on