Ely Choristers Bring Cheer to Care Home Residents

“Carefully delivered music can provide significant benefits for older people, care staff and care settings, contributing to person-centred care. We recommend that regular participatory music programmes be considered essential for all UK care homes.”

Live Music in Care November 2018

Live Music in Care is a new report published earlier this month supporting the A Choir in Every Care Home campaign which is backed by 35 national organisations in the social care and arts sectors.

The report has investigated the impact of music on residents, staff and the whole care home environment. It confirms that music plays an important role in nurturing the well-being of elderly people in care. Music can play a ‘crucial role in awakening a sense of identity and empowerment for care home residents, facilitated by musicians and care teams working together.”

A number of choir school pupils are regular visitors to local care homes. Five years ago the Ely Cathedral Choristers were invited to a Day Centre based at the Princess of Wales Hospital. The invitation came from its then mental health Chaplain, The Revd Dr Ros Lane who ran a group for over 65s with long term mental challenges. Staff from the Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Mental Health Trust also joined in.

The ten choristers, under the director of Director of Music Paul Trepte, performed their Christmas programme of modern and traditional carols, including solos and descant verses for the congregational carols. There was lots of participation and time to talk together over tea and mince pies. One chorister commented: “I wish we could do this every week!”

Regular Care Home Visits

Since then the Day Centre has closed and Ros has become Chaplain at King’s Ely School. Word spread though, and there are been regular visits to a number of local care homes and day centres ever since. This year the choristers will be bringing joy and cheer to residents of Bedford House and The Grange.

Below: Ely choristers enjoy a chat with Chelsea Pensioners following a concert they gave last year