|Source: Songhaven Concert in 10 DAYS!
Songhaven is a dementia-friendly concert series launched at the start of 2017. Founder Vivien Conacher, a mezzo-soprano opera singer, realised that there was a need in the London concert scene for inclusive and relaxed events that also feature professional, high calibre performances.
Songhaven concerts are a safe space where people living with dementia, their companions, carers, and family members can enjoy quality music making in an atmosphere of kindness, understanding and joy. At our concerts, we actively strive to make our audience members feel comfortable and free to be themselves. We warmly welcome singing and moving along to the music, without shame or shushing.
Songhaven concerts are a manageable 45 minutes in length, finishing with an audience singalong to a well-loved song. We then provide afternoon tea so that people can socialise with each-other, and the professional performers, and also make song requests for future concerts.
Songhaven is currently based at two venues in London, each hosting the series on a monthly basis on a Saturday afternoon. We have gained a large and devoted following at both locations, and a very real sense of community has formed due to the regularity of the events. Audience members come back time and time again, which means they get to know one another, and develop new connections based on a mutual love of music.
Songhaven aims to address the stigma and social isolation experienced by older people, people living with dementia, and carers. By catering to the specific needs of this group, we are able to create a positive space where people feel valued, connected to their communities, and respected. Great music & kindness are the magic ingredients, ensuring that everyone leaves a Songhaven event with a smile on their face.
SONGHAVEN AUDIENCE FEEDBACK
“one of the most lovely events I think I have ever been to”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a concert so much”
“you’ve brought some real joy and fun into our lives”
from a carer… “[her] condition has improved, in the sense that not only she recalls…but also she actually asks me when the next concert is taking place. We go over the songs, we sing together and she feels so happy that she has become part of Songhaven”
“a beautiful and entertaining afternoon”
“I loved every minute of it.”
“Fabulous quality… vivacious… such beautiful voices”
“impeccable standard of performance in an atmosphere of relaxed generosity, inclusivity and love.”
“My partner responds to music with his whole body and soul, so it’s wonderful to be in a space where his responses are welcomed and understood as appreciation and expressions of joy.”
[the event] “leaves us buzzing, feeling part of a community, and not isolated with the exhausting complexity of the impact of Alzheimer’s on us as individuals and as a family”
“What I like so much is the chance to hear superb musicians. What treat to hear excerpts from opera!”
“It was all very welcoming, everything explained in the introductions. Lots of favourites”
“Brilliant – so friendly and the beauty of the voices and the selection.”
“I loved the operatic bits. I don’t get to go [to the opera] as much as I’d like to, so this was perfect for me.”
“Beautiful and very professional”
“Beautiful and very inclusive, especially when they got everyone singing.”
“Singing is wonderful- even when the short-term memories are gone, you can still remember words from 40 years ago!”
“People come alive here… it’s a privilege”
“It made me smile and cry, very emotional… a wonderful atmosphere.”
“The way they performed was superb.”
Lumen URC (Bloomsbury), St Paul’s Knightsbridge (Westminster)
To find out more:
Visit our website songhaven.co.uk (to see photographs, filmed footage, upcoming concert dates, and to sign up to our concert announcements)
Contact Vivien: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07576 318 456
Follow Songhaven on social media:
Community Interest Company Number: 11317064
Basement unit 3, 31-35 Great Ormond St, WC1N 3HZ, London, UK