The Alzheimer’s Association is offering a unique way for the elderly to keep active and stimulate cognitive function. Sing Here Now is a choir program for elderly people experiencing memory loss and people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Many local Alzheimer’s Association chapters have a choir program, although the Oregon chapter is the first to implement the program with multiple sessions per year. Please see the flyer below for more information.
Carlos Barrios, Founder of Endear for Alzheimer’s
Chris Nelson, Program Coordinator at the Oregon chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association shares a story from a past session:
Everyone was conversing pleasantly in a circle of chairs next to a piano. Then Jodi began with a drum chant: “I feel the rhythm in my feet…” I was amazed that everyone joined right in with no hesitation, no prompting. These people came ready to sing! After Jodi’s introduction, Maggie and Katie launched into an African chant with hand gestures, and again, the whole group was on board. If I remember, that first session included “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and “Sing Your Way Home”. As I looked around and saw the participants clearly enjoying themselves, my fears and misgivings melted away.
Katy and Maggie have been magnificent in each session, including a period for each participant to share with the group some personal musical memories. So in addition to the group dynamic, there is also a decided emphasis on individual expression. As the weeks have gone by, SING HERE NOW has added songs such as “The Bell Doth Toll”, “Sally Gardens”, and “I Love You Truly”. I have been astonished at the variety of offerings Maggie and Katy bring each week, incorporating breathing exercises, call and response chants, folk music, participant-chosen music, as well as reserving a time to learn parts as a traditional choir does. The sessions are 90 minutes with a short break in the middle. So far, everyone involved has been very energized by the sessions, and the hour and a half goes by much too quickly.
To sign up for the up-coming session click the link below:
To find choir, music therapy, or art therapy programs in your area click this link: