Herts Music Memories passionately believes that all people with memory problems or dementia should still enjoy positive fulfilling experiences that enhance their lives and, improve their health, their confidence and their sense of wellbeing.
Herts Musical Memories are a tiny charity reaching over 300 people every week using the creative arts to help people with dementia and their carers to live well and most importantly to have fun. We actively promotes equality for people with dementia. To free them from fear and isolation and to use our services to demonstrate to the wider public that people with dementia still have a place in society and should be treated with dignity and respect. Each week we provide stimulating and inspiring music sessions for people with dementia and their carers. The sessions are structured to include a range of activities that are repeated each week providing the service users with a routine that becomes familiar with regular attendance. Songs are chosen from 1930s going up to the 1970s. Service users are asked to contribute to song choices to enable us to deliver songs they can relate to and enjoy. The sessions will include; songs that require movement, singing rounds where people get a chance to sing in harmony, rhythm exercises using percussion instruments and exercises in dexterity using bean bags. The service users are taught new songs – incredibly due to the way the human brain remembers music, people with dementia can cope with this and actively enjoy learning new things – this increases their confidence and boosts their self-esteem. Whilst the sessions are based in music therapy there is a relaxed informal feel to the sessions. Laughter is always encouraged. A carer told us that she learnt how to laugh again and that as a result of attending the sessions her husband sang around the house again. Another carer told us the sessions were like their laughter hour and time and time again we are told that the singing groups are one of the few activities that both the person with dementia and the carer enjoy and can participate equally. Many times we run sessions and people arrive stressed and close to tear but usually they leave smiling and laughing. We know from research that singing is a powerful way to help people connect to their memories, it has also been proven that singing helps reduce anxiety and helps improve health - people who sing in choirs regularly are less likely to visit their GPs. Herts Musical Memories was founded in 2017 with very limited resources - we know we need to do more in relation to social media and this is a tool that can help raise our profile and improve are ability to fundraise but we simply don't have the resources or enough knowledge to fully utilise this marketing tool. Marketing is an area we really struggle with - finding the right words to encourage people to support us. We really would appreciate some help.