Dementia-friendly choir records song for those affected by condition

Choir 'Let's Sing' pays tribute to families affected by dementia with their track 'I Am The Song.'

A dementia-friendly choir has recorded a song created especially for them, as part of a drive to help bring those affected by the condition together.

The song created by songwriter Boo Hewerdine and featuring Scottish singer Rarity is part of a project by the organisation Luminate, which supports dementia inclusive choirs and singing groups nationwide.

One of the members of the choir is Agnes Cowan, who joined with her husband after he was diagnosed with dementia in 2018.

She said: “We were looking for something we could do together, and he’s always loved to sing. So having found ‘Let’s Sing’ has been great, really.

“Andrew can remember all the songs from long ago. I wondered how he would be when we had to learn new songs but it turns out he is very good at remembering all the new songs that he’s learnt. It must have to do with the rhythm.

“The other thing about being with Lets Sing is meeting other people and singing along – for me, it’s very good for myself but it’s a great pleasure for him.”

Agnes Cowan, member of Let's Sing.

While there’s research showing the benefit of older people and those living dementia singing familiar songs, there’s growing understanding that learning new songs can also be beneficial.

Mr Hewerdine, the singer-songwriter who created the track, says it’s something he was keen to get involved in.

He said: “My feeling is that songs go incredibly deep so I wanted to respect that. The title of the song is ‘I Am The Song’ because I believe that everyone here has their own story and It enables them to be able to sing something that meant something to them.”

Luminate director Anne Gallacher said: “What goes on in our brains when we sing is really important – it brings joy, it brings connection with people around you and it can bring memories back as well.”

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