About Giving Voice and the benefits of singing
What are the benefits of singing for people with dementia?
At Giving Voice, we believe in the power of music to help people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia live well. Through singing, we can create connection and wellbeing. Not just in our own community but here in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area here in Minnesota, but across the world.
According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, it’s expected that by 2030 there will be 78 million people living with Alzheimer’s. But, the impact is far greater. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impacts not just individuals but families and whole communities.
You may already be aware of the transformative power of music. How listening to music can change mood and impact behavior.
Although listening to music has many wonderful benefits, making music is even more beneficial. When we sing, we are actively making music.
We are active participants in the music experience.
Music can be uplifting, calming, and improve mood. Music can stimulate cognition and mental alertness in the brain. Singing also has these benefits, but it also requires us to think, listen, and learn.
In a chorus, we have to modulate our voices, match pitch, remember words and lyrics, follow the directions of a conductor, and pay attention to the other singer’s voices.
Phew! That’s a lot of work! And, that’s the point.
Singing is a mental exercise. There are so many benefits of singing, but there are even more benefits when we sing together.
Despite all of these benefits to social, physical, and brain health, the real benefit is that singing is accessible. Anyone can do it. Even if we’ve been told we can’t sing, trust us, everyone is a singer.
We ask that people living with dementia sign up with a care-partner to help chorus members to be able to sign throughout their Alzheimer’s journey. We’ve found that singing is equally beneficial for care partners.
Everyone should take advantage of the benefits of singing!
Some people have a strong background in music, and some people have never sung in public before. (Usually, the care-partners!)
Our motto is “there is no wrong in this room”.
Because if we have permission to try, we can be successful! It’s a dementia friendly experience created for success, from the music that’s chosen, how the music is distributed, the seating, the nametags, the rehearsal halls, and the conductors.
Through singing together as a chorus, we can build community, develop friendships, and reduce the social isolation that often comes with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
Why singing for people with dementia?
Because it’s fun! Because singing is an opportunity to experience joy, and bring joy to others. Every session ends with a public performance for friends and family. Our concerts are often the highlight of the year for our chorus and for our audience. It’s all about the joy of singing.
With all of the benefits of singing, having fun is our favorite.
We are artistically vibrant.
We know that it is not easy to live with Alzheimer’s, but singing can provide moments of joy, laughter, and the opportunity for friendship. For people living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, Giving Voice Chorus is an opportunity to belong without judgment.
It’s people first. It’s an opportunity to share an experience with a care partner that is rooted in the joy of music, where every voice matters, and it doesn’t matter where you are in the disease.
We know the impact that singing together has on people with Alzheimer’s, their care partners, their families, and our community, our dream is to see a Giving Voice style chorus in every community across the globe.
Through singing, we can create more opportunities for joy. More life-affirming moments on your Alzheimer’s journey.
There are just too many benefits of singing not to sing!
This is why we sing.
In addition, to running our own choruses here in the Twin Cities and online, we support Alzheimer’s choruses all over the United States and choruses internationally by providing our toolkit to launch a new chorus and ongoing educational opportunities.
We hope to see everyone living with Alzheimer’s Disease have the opportunity to experience the joy, laughter, and friendship of singing in a chorus. We want everyone living with dementia to be able to experience the benefits of singing in a chorus.
Giving Voice Initiative inspires and equips organizations to bring together people with Alzheimer’s and their care partners to sing in choruses that foster joy, well-being, purpose, and community understanding.
Giving Voice Initiative will lead a worldwide movement that helps people with Alzheimer’s and their care partners live better lives and benefit their communities through singing together.
Our Non-discrimination Statement
Giving Voice is committed to creating an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is the policy of Giving Voice not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), sex, gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, military status, or other status protected by applicable law, in any of its activities or operations
Joy: We believe in reframing the prevailing narrative of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia from one of decline and despair to one of well-being and joy.
Empowerment: We believe that singing together builds empowerment, purpose, and belonging for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and their care partners.
Innovation: We strive to develop new ways to transform people’s experience with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Collaboration: We believe the collective strengths and experiences of our singers, choruses, and partners allow us to more effectively advance a shared mission.
Inclusion: We seek to serve all individuals and communities affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, recognizing and celebrating the unique characteristics* of this population.
*Characteristics including age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, education, national origin, financial means, or other classifications.
2022 Impact Report
Giving Voice Initiative is committed to integrity and transparency with every dollar.
Tax ID# 47-4484086
Giving Voice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
This program was funded in part by a grant provided by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).