Rounds and More is part of my professional project for my MA in Arts Practice (Health and Wellbeing).

I facilitate three different Singing for the Brain (SftB) sessions a week in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society. SftB is a programme designed to enable people with dementia and their carers to enjoy the proven benefits that singing can bring in a safe environment; it encourages the learning of new songs as well as enjoying the more well-known older ones.

Each singing session lasts an hour, beginning with warm-up exercises, a Welcome Song and then followed by the learning or recapping of rounds and action songs. The last quarter of an hour is taken up with singing more familiar songs from songbooks.

Participants have often asked me for copies of the words and recordings of the songs so that they can sing them in the week between sessions; it is something that I have been meaning to do for a long time and finally I have made a start! I have created an online resource which has been accessible as soon as I started to build it; it is an on-going process, partly because there are a large number of songs to compile but also because the groups are on-going too and I am always adding new songs. Having said that however, it is still my intention to create a hard-copy book and CD for the participants who are not as computer literate. For this I will have to choose a moment in time and decide that this is the definitive list of songs. The purpose for which the book and CD will be required will not be adversely affected by the fact that songs added to our repertoire after this point will not be included; maybe it will encourage some people to go online more!