person playing a guitar

An alternative to live sessions.

By: Helen Hunter, Musical Memories Choir

We found live group sessions were off-putting to the people we were trying to stay connected to, namely people living with dementia and their partners, isolating at at home during coronavirus lockdown and since.

The barriers to a real-time live group were unfamiliarity with the technology (Zoom/Microsoft Teams etc), difficulty in being ready to participate at a set time, concern about being seen by others, and worries about the security of registering an account with platforms like Facebook and Zoom. So since April we have recorded singing sessions and virtual walks. The videos are easy to produce, filmed, edited, and uploaded directly on a smart phone. These are shared on Facebook, Youtube and our website and our members can watch these whenever suits them each day.

The important factor is our members can make requests for songs, or for walks to specific locations, so that the activity still feels personal, and interactive. The videos form a basis for individual conversations and connections.
Members can make requests either by email or commenting on youtube, Facebook or via our website.

We have found this hybrid approach of creating pre-recorded sessions with elements of personalisation to be an effective way of including people at a pace and time that they are comfortable. And we have also found that the videos are beneficial and watched by a much larger audience.

Check out the templates for the virtual choir and virtual walks here.

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