The sound of music came to Finborough Court as students delivered an al fresco performance with a programme devised from our family members’ requests
“We wanted to support the local community and make people happy even when they're in tough times like the pandemic. It made me feel extraordinary and I loved seeing the residents happy and enjoying themselves.”
These words come from Victor, one of the Year 9 students from Finborough School who visited our care home Finborough Court recently to take part in an al fresco performance outside the lounge window, much to the delight of our family members. Watch this video from the performance here:
At the start of the year, we launched our Friendship Is Ageless campaign informed by research we did highlighting the benefits of connecting across the generations.
This visit is a lovely example of how making connections benefits everyone. The students decided to visit after learning how music can be a powerful way to reach those living with dementia.
Helen Lyons, music teacher at Finborough School, explains: “My form watched many clips of what happens when patients with severe dementia listen to music. They were struck by how they came alive and had conversations, even those who hadn’t spoken for a long time. This really moved the children, some of them to tears. To be able to go and sing for your residents was truly an honour for them, especially as most of them were stepping out of their comfort zone!”
“To be able to go and sing for your residents was truly an honour for them, especially as most of them were stepping out of their comfort zone!”
In preparation for the performance, the students first contacted Finborough Court to ask if they had any requests. They then put together a specially-tailored programme which included favourites from the Sound Of Music as well as traditional tunes such as ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’ and hymns ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ and ‘Jerusalem’.
On the day of the performance, our family members gathered in the lounge to watch. Finborough Court family member Jean then thanked the young performers saying, “It was lovely, we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish you would come back again!”
According to music teacher Helen, the students got a lot out of the experience. She says, “They are at an age where hormones are flying, they sometimes think irrationally and they seem to take so much for granted. Their world is quite insular – it's all about them! I knew that this would benefit them greatly in that they would realise just how special a kind gesture like this can be and how wonderful they would feel afterwards, which indeed they did as they walked back to school with a spring in their their step!"
As part of our Friendship Is Ageless campaign we’re encouraging people to dive in and connect. If you are a teacher or a nursery nurse is there a way you could connect with a care home local to you?
Find out more about our work
Our campaign Friendship Is Ageless encourages older and younger people to connect
Vanessa is a Hummingbird at Finborough Court, our home in Suffolk. In this role, she provides emotional, spiritual, and practical support to those living with dementia