Singing to stay fit and healthy

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Bexhill Rotarians were entertained by Adrian Bawtree at their speaker meeting when he talked about his work as Creative Director of the charity, Sing for your Life.

Adrian’s background as an organist and director of music at St Mary’s Church Portsea and also at Christ’s Hospital, together with his interest in the potential health benefits of singing made him the ideal person to link the two.

In 2004 he set up a song club for older people in a day care setting and since then has expanded to a total of 150 clubs.

Adrian explained that there was plenty of research demonstrating the clinical benefits of participatory singing.

These include better social interaction and overcoming cultural differences by using different styles of song.

Areas of health improvements embrace reducing anxiety and depression; helping people with dementia, adults with special needs and rehabilitation after a stroke.

Participatory singing works because people are involved, rather than being sung at or played to.

Adrian described that using professional musicians was prohibitively expensive and the challenge was how to construct and deliver a simple and cost effective delivery method so as many as possible can benefit from this intervention.

New technology using the Silver Song Music Box and tablet technology now made this possible and the highlight of the evening was a practical demonstration of the equipment.

Rotarians joined in enthusiastically with renditions of “What shall we do with the drunken sailor” and “That’s amore”.

Adrian is now working on technology that will enable this technique to be used for individuals.

He said, “When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimers, family members often ask what they can do.

“Singing with them is invaluable and we are trialling new equipment to see of we can develop a cost effective method.”

At the end, Rotarian Paul Frostick thanked Adrian for his presentation and President, John Coles presented a cheque to support the charitable work.

For more information please go to www.singforyourlife.org.uk or email info@singforyourlife.org.uk

To find more about Bexhill Rotary Club, just click ‘contact us’ on our website www.bexhill.rotaryweb.org. Select ‘General Enquiries’ and send us a message.

Alternatively, give our Secretary, Brian Cope, a call on 01424 732895.