Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Singing for Wellbeing sessions are currently on hold. This is in order to minimise the risk to those most vulnerable in our hospitals and communities.
As soon as we have dates confirmed we will publish them on this page, or you can telephone Siobhan Currell on 0191 282 4081 for the latest updates.
In the meantime, there are lots of great singing projects going on online to help us feel socially connected while physically distanced and to get a much needed boost through singing.
The biggest project I’m aware of is Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus: www.decca.com/greatbritishhomechorus . This initiative aims to bring together both amateur and professional performers around the country to contribute their voices and instruments to an ambitious digital music project, conceived in the light of many closures to communal rehearsal spaces nationwide.
Gareth is hosting daily sessions on YouTube live at 5.30pm (but you can watch at whatever time is convenient). Gareth leads us through vocal warm-ups and then moves on to teaching the tune and three harmony parts to a song.
He’s currently working on You Are My Sunshine, but he plans to have more songs and invite people to record themselves singing the parts, then Decca Records are going to splice together all the recordings.
Stay At Home Choir is an online platform to keep musical communities connected at a time when choirs and orchestras can’t meet to rehearse. Their first project is Vivaldi Gloria. www.stayathomechoir.com
Locally, Beccy Owen who hosts Pop-Up Choirs has online singing events planned via Zoom for Wednesday mornings at 9am until 17th June and Sundays at 11.30am and 6.30pm until 31st May. Don’t worry if you’re shy about being on camera, you can “mute” your video and most projects like this one seem to “mute” participants too, so you’ll just hear Beccy. More details at www.facebook.com/beccyowenpopupchoirs/events or www.popupchoirs.com
I will keep tweeting about things as I become aware of them so please check out my Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/siobhancurrell ) for the latest updates. Stay safe and keep singing!
Singing for wellbeing
Thanks to the charity Music in Hospitals and Care and through the generous funding of the People’s Postcode Lottery, we are able to provide regular drop-in Singing for Wellbeing sessions.
These sessions are open to inpatients, outpatients, carers and staff.
Prior experience or a good singing voice are not necessary – this is an informal choir singing popular music, offering the chance to have a joyful experience through music regardless of vocal ability.
We appreciate that having a health condition or caring for someone can make regular attendance difficult; you can attend as often or as little as you are able.
Benefits of singing for wellbeing
The benefits of group singing include:
- Improved mental wellbeing and recovery
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Release of endorphins (the “feel good” chemical)
- Enhanced immune system
- Improved circulation and lung health
- Feeling energized
When is the choir?
Sessions usually take place on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. We will publish the new dates here.
Where does the choir sing?
MediCinema, Level 2, New Victoria Wing, Royal Victoria Infirmary.
The MediCinema is located at the top of the escalator opposite the Food Court. It is also accessible via the lifts in the main entrance.
Who leads the sessions?
Choir leader Sharon Durant.
For more information contact Siobhan Currell in Health Psychology on 0191 282 4081
How can I join the choir?
Inpatients should first check with their nurse in charge before attending.
Some people (patients or carers) may have health conditions which mean it would be unwise to attend this choir for their or others’ safety.
- Patients who are being isolated due to an infection or because they have low immunity.
- Patients or carers who think they may have an infectious illness e.g. symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours.
- People with Cystic Fibrosis are advised to avoid group activities. If unsure and you are in hospital please speak to a member of your nursing team.
- If no longer in hospital please speak to your GP.