Carers Choir

Health

'Warm up exercises and fun songs help physically to relax body and lungs etc. as well as to actually sing better!’

‘I didn't realise how physical singing can be - literally warming you up - opening air ways - making better posture and feeling good.’

 

Emotional health and well-being:

‘The strong feelings of anger, depression & isolation from before the singing gathering made room for happiness and clarity that is still so present today as I am doing the usual things in the usual place.’ 

‘Thank you! I suffer from an overstretched and very active stress system.  This morning I was singing and remembering rehearsing the daffodil song, which is a so welcome and necessary contradiction. Singing is a life line for me…’

 

Supporting self-confidence, taking timeout and companionship:

 ‘The choir is part of rebuilding my confidence after several knock-backs’

‘I am a carer for my son so being able to come and sing and take a couple of hours off is fantastic and as singing is my main hobby it is perfect for me.’

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Supporting young people with additional needs, and in hospital and hospices

“I’ve seen a different child today. As professionals we understand the impact music can have, but understanding it and experiencing it are very different things! Viva were sensitive, pro-active, subtle communicators able to read our most complex young-people, providing them with tailored opportunities that simply could not be replicated by staff. It's a privilege to see first-hand how music, delivered how Viva were able to, truly is a gift to all that receive it.” TA

“Music for her, because she is blind, is her comfort, her stimulation – it is everything for her; so being able to come here and have something like this is amazing. She gets so much out of it. When we get home she is like a different child, she is so happy and chatty. We get to be Mum and daughter instead of an additional needs Mum all the time” Parent

“It is so moving to see a child’s face light up; and a parent having an intimate moment with their child within the music sessions. Sometimes to people who have not been part of the sessions it could seem that this work is an added extra – it’s not providing direct hospital treatment, but it is so important. One family for example has said to us that for their child that it was better than any pain relief”.  Viva Education Manager 

“Because of Cerebral Palsy she doesn’t use her left side, but when music plays she will start using her left side, it’s wonderful” Parent

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Getting creative with older people and those with dementia

Creating work together is bonding, and we start and finish the day as equals…. It helps is to connect with individuals and offers such meaningful therapeutic relationships…. We are all learning together as unique individuals” (Staff member Nursing Home)

Thank you seems very simple, but thanks you for involving Mum in your musical extravaganza. It was all she’d talk about she enjoyed it so much. She was so animated, something I’ve never seen for years. Really hope you can continue the good work with the workshops.” (Daughter of care home participant.)

“This is by far the best thing we have ever done for our residents!” (Nursing home Care Standards Officer) 

“We were like a little family” (Participant)

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Giving young people a voice – working with those living in challenging circumstances

“For this project we purposely chose children who were shy, lacking in confidence and who we felt would benefit in a number of different ways from taking part. Over the weeks it was obvious to see the positive impact that this project had, had on the children. They became more confident both socially and academically, sharing a range of different ideas and talents that before had been hidden.  A comment from one of the children to their parents after the project was ' Mum do you think that I have become more confident? I do.'” Teacher

“I learnt that I should stand up straight and be proud when I play … I learnt team working and being able to suggest ideas.  The project also boosted my confidence.” (Participant) 

“The pupils in year 6 felt that they had really achieved something by helping to produce such a great performance.  Their self-esteem has grown and this can help them to achieve well in other areas.” (Teacher)

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