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The music & dance project is open to all members of the local community whatever their musical or dance experience, both from Ashford Place clients & wider Cricklewood community. The project provides 3 activities; community choir, music & dance for the Dementia Group. Over half our members are over 70, but we draw in people of a very wide age range, ethnicity & musicianship. One aim is to perform at events & locations in Cricklewood & environs, as well as making musical & social connections between group members. The choir carries out around 15 performance, half in public & half in old people's & dementia centres. The music director & members have a special interest in bringing music to old people, those with dementia, their family & carers. Each term includes performances where songs are selected to fit the audience, who join in, while some sing. Now we want to do more singing in the Ashford Place Dementia Group & set up & run a mixed membership dance class.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
An aging UK population, with numbers of over 85 year olds forecast to double in next 23 years & numbers of people with dementia to increase to over 1 million by 2025 & 2 million by 2051, along with a squeeze on statutory provision, places enormous demands on carers & the voluntary sector. Research shows that music actively promotes brain activity in dementia sufferers (Alzheimer’s Society), while dance is the best exercise for both brain & body so preventing dementia (Massachusetts Medical Society). Hence Ashford Place delivers a successful holistic programme (music, exercise sessions, lunch clubs, peer to peer provision) for both those with dementia & their carers. This still needs to be continually expanded & updated with new ideas, such as weekly dance & singing sessions. The groups have open membership, with accessible programmes, with simple dances, popular songs & arrangements, no great emphasis on high level music or dance skills.
Steps to get it done:
Research finds some of the most stimulating & valuable activities for those with dementia & allied conditions are dance & singing. Dancing helps dementia as the New England Journal of Medicine states http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022252 as dancing integrates several brain functions at once further increasing neural connectivity. Other research show the benefits of music https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=760 The choir and dance session are open to everyone. The choir meets every Friday (during term time) at 12.00 at 60 Ashford Place , NW2. There is no venue arranged for the dance session arranged until we raise funding, but it will be probably be a local church hall, where we already run exercise sessions for over 55s.
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