We’re in the Northern District Times!

A lovely article about our choir in the local press…

Music helps find ’lost’ memories

Dementia choir to change lives through song

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Conductor Bronwyn Hendy has starting a dementia-friendly choir. Picture: Jeremy Piper

AN Epping woman has started Sydney’s first dementia-friendly community choir.

The Good Life Chorus started last week at the West Ryde Community Centre under the auspices of the Sydney Welsh Choir.

Conductor Bronwyn Hendy moved to Sydney from Canberra earlier this year where her friend had started the equivalent and it has had great numbers turning up to the weekly sessions.

“I couldn’t understand why Sydney didn’t already have one. I’ve got the time and skills, so jumped at the chance,” she said.

Mrs Hendy said people living with dementia found it more difficult to learn new repertoire, which is why they would be drawing on music from the 1950s and 1960s with a mix of traditional music including Christmas carols and folk songs.

“The atmosphere at a dementia-friendly community choir is amazing. There’s so much joy and the people who come along and sing to support are passionate,” she said.

She said there were times people had lost their speech but could still sing. “The power of music is amazing,” she said.

The pace of rehearsals is relaxed and friendly.

“An important part of being dementia friendly is to give people the time to orientate themselves and not feel rushed,” she said.

“The goal is to have fun. Singing together makes people feel good. It eases pain and is a great way of improving people’s sense of well being.”

The choir is open to any adults who love to sing but it has a special focus on the inclusion and support of people in the community who are living with dementia and their carers.

Mrs Hendy said she would be looking at subsidising membership so it did not cost more than a cup of coffee each week.

Details: 9868 5434 or goodlifechorus.org