Saffron Hall launches new initiative for those living with dementia, and their carers

October 28, 2016

Music for thought 3

As part of its commitment to create opportunities for everyone to experience and participate in the arts, Saffron Hall is launching ‘Music for Thought’, a free six-week music course for those living with dementia, and their carers.

Starting in January 2017 at Fairycroft House Saffron Walden, the free course will bring professional musicians from Wigmore Hall and the Royal Academy of Music together with people living with dementia, and their companion, for a series of weekly music workshops. There will be opportunities to sing, play instruments and create music, as well as to meet others in the coffee hour that bookends each session. The course will finish with a sharing of their work as part of a special celebration event at Saffron Hall on 27 February, in partnership with Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance.

To kick-start the project, Saffron Hall is holding a taster session on Monday 5 December, 2pm-4pm at Fairycroft House, and is inviting people to come to it. The taster session is an opportunity to meet lead musician Sam Glazer, participate in some fun music making and find out more about the ‘Music for Thought course’. The taster session is free to attend but places should be booked in advance.

Natalie Ellis, Director Learning & Participation at Saffron Hall says:

“Dementia is a disempowering and isolating condition that many in our community are effected by. Music has the profound ability to unlock memories and can be an incredible source of joy and comfort for people living with dementia and those around them. I’m delighted to be working with Wigmore Hall’s expert musicians and management team on ‘Music for Thought’ and hope that this leads to many more opportunities like this in the future.”

Anyone interested in attending the free ‘Music for Thought’ taster session on Monday 5 December can book a place by contacting or calling 01799 588 533. The taster session is only open to those living with dementia, and their carers, and numbers are limited. Bookings will close on Monday 28 November.

Music for Thought projects originated in London, in partnership with Westminster Arts, and currently run across three London boroughs. The projects aim to offer engaging and meaningful musical and social experiences for people living with dementia in the community, especially those who may be socially isolated. Saffron Hall is bringing this project to the East of England for the first time working in partnership with Wigmore Hall, the Royal Academy of Music and the Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance.

About Wigmore Hall Learning
Connecting people through music

For over 20 years Wigmore Hall’s renowned Learning programme has been giving people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities opportunities to take part in creative music making, engaging a broad and diverse audience through innovative creative projects, concerts, events and online resources. The spirit of chamber music lies at the heart of all that we do: making music together as an ensemble, with every voice heard and equally valued. We collaborate with a range of community, health, social care and education organisations, working together to engage people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take part

About the Royal Academy of Music: Open Academy
The Academy’s mission has always been to provide musical training at the highest level, and through the Open Academy, we extend this opportunity beyond our enrolled students and out into the communities of London. Academy students benefit directly by engaging in innovative creative learning and participation projects, and discovering an application of their skills beyond the traditional concert platform.

About Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance
We want Saffron Walden to be a community where people living with dementia are treated with respect, dignity and given as much independence as possible whilst their carers are supported and enabled to enjoy a good quality of life.

We do this by helping local shops, businesses and service providers:

▪ Recognise the signs of dementia;
▪ Understand how dementia can impact those who live with it;
▪ Make small changes that will help people living with dementia continue to be included in, and contribute to, our community.