Giving Voice Chorus uses the irrepressible power of singing to move people with Alzheimer’s and their care partners to rediscover themselves, make new friends, laugh together, learn together, and create something unique together. In the process, the singers and their communities develop a new understanding of what life with Alzheimer’s can be. Singing in the chorus is a meaningful way to engage in community life, not simply a way to occupy time.
The quality and content of the singers’ experience—for the singers with dementia, the care partners, and the volunteers—are fundamental to the success of the program. For all singers, regardless of their experience or ability, Giving Voice offers a first-rate artistic process led by skilled teaching artists in an attractive and accessible music venue. Building a successful chorus program requires hard work, respect for people with dementia and their abilities, enthusiasm for collaboration, adaptability, and a deep commitment to providing a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all.
People with dementia are often marginalized and nearly invisible after a diagnosis. GVI’s priority is to engage and embrace people with Alzheimer’s who live in the community, outside of care facilities, because they generally have fewer opportunities to socialize and contribute. Similarly, their care partners often feel more isolated and alone. While many people living in care facilities could also benefit from participating in a chorus, we have chosen to direct our limited resources to where we see the greatest need.
We stand by these principles and believe they can be your guide as you build a chorus for your community.
Why does Giving Voice choose to focus on chorus members with dementia who live in private homes?
GVI’s priority is to meet the needs of people with Alzheimer’s who live in the community, outside of care facilities, because they generally have fewer opportunities to socialize and be creative. Similarly, their care partners often feel isolated and alone. GVI is directing its limited resources to where it believes the greatest need exists.
How is this different than music therapy?
A Giving Voice chorus is not a music therapy program. Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
How is this different than a sing-along?
A Giving Voice chorus offers a unique depth of learning and participation. Sing-alongs use well-known songs and the participants sing only the melody. A Giving Voice chorus involves both experiential and sequential learning. Most of the songs are in SAB parts. And, like sing-alongs, fun is a big part of a Giving Voice chorus!