The dementia choir

It's great to see another television series which shows the real face of dementia

If you’re not already watching it then set this one to record! The Dementia Choir sees Vicky McClure (of Line of Duty fame) bringing together a group of people who have dementia to form a choir. One of the aims is to study the effects of music on the brain.

In the show we get to meet the choir members individually, and to hear them and their relatives talking about their lives since diagnosis. The show allows us to see the varying effects of dementia, with some of the choristers already proving to be real characters!

The programme documents the highs and lows, from Rae, a former music teacher who gave up playing piano after her diagnosis 10 years ago, who sat down at the piano and played like she’d only done it an hour ago, to Daniel, a 30 year old former drummer, diagnosed with genetic early onset Alzheimer’s just days after becoming a dad.

The presenter, Vicky McClure, noticed in her own grandmother the positive effects of singing and music. Hence, she came up with the idea of forming the dementia choir and seeing what music can really do. So far it’s early days but it’s amazing to see each member of the choir learning a new song, and remembering it next time they step back in to their practice session.

They may not remember the other choir members, or any of the discussions that were had, but they each remember the song, and why they are there. Eventually the plan is perform in public, what an achievement!

I think we’ve all known that there is a link between music and memory, but it’s quite another thing to see it fully in action, and to be able to see what is going on within the brain itself whilst we’re listening and singing along. This is a touching and heartwarming series, watch it!

Article by Sally White
Ablyss Co Founder

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