Keeping the Music Going at Monkscroft Care Centre
Friday 4th June 2021
In autumn of 2019, Live Music Now's South West branch embarked on a 6 week intergenerational music project with Monkscroft Care Centre, Tinies Nursery, Windsor Street Care Centre and Tree Tops Nursery led by Live Music Now singer/songwriter Julia Turner.
Residents and children taught each other favourite songs and together wrote their own songs, with ideas for lyrics and tunes coming from both the residents and the children. They even wrote a song about the chickens that lived at Monkscroft (the children helped to name the chickens too!) Julia noted how "when one woman started singing along and smiling the care staff were amazed. They had not seen her engage in anything for a long time."
Julia then arranged everything and sent lyrics and recordings to homes and nurseries so they could practice in between visits. They had a lovely share in December with residents from both care centres present and were gearing up for their next Live Music Now residency when Covid hit.
Sarah Davis, Activity Coordinator at Monkscroft Care Centre, said: "During the pandemic, our way of engaging with music had to change in many ways. We were still able to offer those natural musical engagements daily however we immediately missed that engagement with our local community such as musicians visiting us."
To help bridge the gap, Julia created a video for Monkscroft residents where she sang the songs they had sung regularly together during her previous visits, as well as the song they wrote together with the children about the chickens that used to live at Monkscroft. The familiarity was really important and helpful, as residents recognised the songs they had formerly enjoyed as a group, which sparked memories and lots of conversation.
"We really valued the pre-recorded videos that were available to us from Live Music Now. We found them really useful to use on a 1:1 basis, and this also enabled us to use the same video multiple times if we wished. It was a wonderful way of using music in a meaningful way when group activities were not possible during the pandemic." Sarah Davis, Activity Coordinator, Monkscroft Care Centre, The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT)
A member of the Monkscroft team and a resident enjoy a pre-recorded video from singer/songwriter Julia Turner (Photo Credit : Beata McLean)
Monkscroft Care Centre was keen to keep the music going during Covid, and engaged another LMN musician-in-residence, Chris Webb. Chris conducted his entire residency through zoom and led a collaborative song-writing project culminating in 'A Monkscroft Christmas' inspired by residents' memories and hopes for Christmas:
Live Music Now and The Orders of St John Care Trust are very excited to #ReturnToLive performances at both Monkscroft and Windsor Street Care Centres on Tuesday June 15th, 2021 with LMN South West kora player, Rudy Green.
Several of our Gloucestershire homes were treated to wonderful musical performances thanks to #ReturntoLive organised by @LiveMusicNow.— OSJCT (@OSJCT) June 18, 2021
Photos of Rudy Green playing the West African Kora at Monkscroft and Windsor Street Care Centres, both in Cheltenham. https://t.co/ozhy2NGs1u pic.twitter.com/T4MAhTJC5r
Photo credit: Evan Dawson where not stated.