Transforming Communities

Ways to Sing

What does a music ‘session’ in a care home look like?

We’ve seen many different ways to bring music into your care home life.

Here are some examples:

1. Musicians and singers come to your care home to perform, and enable residents to ‘sing along’ or participate in other ways. Performers might be professional musicians, volunteers or amateur choirs, or a combination of all, and the music could be from any genre or period. This BBC video shows an example of this.

2. Musicians and singers visit specifically to get residents singing themselves. Some singing leaders bring “buddies” – volunteers singers who sit among the residents sensitively helping them sing and get the most out of the activity. For example, ‘Equal Arts’ have been leading choirs of older people in Gateshead, described here.

3. Music therapists work intensively and clinically often one-to-one with residents. They can sometimes also work with groups in a freer particpatory style.

4. Karoake machines, sing-a-long CDs and similar are useful ways to enable non-musicians (and musicians) to lead the live experience – the more singing the better.

5. Many care homes take opportunities to sing at every occasion: care workers singing while dressing residents; music before lunch; CDs playing in corners where residents gather. For more ideas, see our Survey Results.

Add all this together and what have you got? A “singing home” where music and singing is used throughout the hours to help residents, motivate and cheer staff, and make your home a much nicer place to be!

Play Video

Next, go to our Practical Steps to get you started.