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Turtle Song

An opportunity for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia to sing and compose their own songs with professional musicians. The project is a collaboration with Turtle Key Arts and the Royal College of Music.

Turtle Song is our well-known project for people with Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia and their carers and companions. It continues and flourishes this autumn and next spring with projects in Croydon, West London and Oxford.

The project is a partnership with Turtle Key Arts and the Royal College of Music.

The participants meet once a week for ten weeks, and with the help of professional musicians and music students, write the lyrics and compose the music for their own song cycle, ending in a live performance for friends and family which is recorded as a DVD.

Turtle Song encourages artistic and social interaction, a positive outlook through an enjoyable and shared activity and gives the brain and body a bit of stimulating exercise. It also helps to enhance the professional development of the music students who take part in the project

Since the first Turtle Song at the Royal College of Music, London in 2008 it has been introduced in Cambridge, Wolverhampton, Dulwich, Suffolk, Oxford, Stockton-on-Tees, Leeds, Norwich, Croydon, Reading and Newbury; there are now on average three held each year.

Free to all participants. Turtle Song is an English Touring Opera, Royal College of Music and Turtle Key Arts collaboration.

Our Croydon project is led by composer Ruairi Glasheen and director Anna Jewitt, supported by students from the Brit School. The performance is at the Fairfield Halls on 2 December.

The project in Oxford is led by composer Jon Petter and director Carolyn von Stumm, assisted by music students from Oxford University. The performance is in the Jaqueline du Pre Music Building in St Hilda’s College on 18 March.

The West London project is led by composer John Barber and director Hazel Gould, with students from the RCM. The performance is in the Royal College of Music Concert Hall on 22 March.

If you, or a friend or partner, are interested in taking part in the project please contact Charlotte Cunningham at Turtle Key Arts on 020 8964 5060, charlotte@turtlekeyarts.org.uk or Tim Yealland at English Touring Opera on 020 7833 2555, tim.yealland@englishtouringopera.org.uk.

Special thanks to The Henry Smith Charity, Mark Armitage, C.A. Redfern Charitable Foundation and Scouloudi Foundation.

Showing At

  1. Fairfield Halls, Croydon
    2nd Dec 2015 - 12:00 pm
  2. Royal College of Music
    19th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  3. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    22nd Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  4. Royal College of Music
    26th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  5. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    29th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  6. Royal College of Music
    2nd Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  7. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    5th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  8. Royal College of Music
    9th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  9. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    12th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  10. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    19th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  11. Royal College of Music
    23rd Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  12. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    26th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  13. Royal College of Music
    1st Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  14. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    4th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  15. Royal College of Music
    8th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  16. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    11th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  17. Royal College of Music
    15th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  18. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    18th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  19. Royal College of Music
    21st Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  20. Royal College of Music
    22nd Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  1. Fairfield Halls, Croydon — 2nd Dec 2015 - 12:00 pm

    CR9 1DG

  2. Royal College of Music — 19th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  3. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 22nd Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  4. Royal College of Music — 26th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  5. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 29th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  6. Royal College of Music — 2nd Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  7. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 5th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  8. Royal College of Music — 9th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  9. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 12th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  10. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 19th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  11. Royal College of Music — 23rd Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  12. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 26th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  13. Royal College of Music — 1st Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  14. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 4th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  15. Royal College of Music — 8th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  16. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 11th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  17. Royal College of Music — 15th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  18. St Hilda’s College, Oxford — 18th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    OX4 1DY

  19. Royal College of Music — 21st Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

  20. Royal College of Music — 22nd Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

    Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BS

The achievement of creating something entirely new was a thrill and a source pride for the participants. It was a stimulating workout for the brain. The continuous engagement of the group in novel work was delightful to see. The opportunity to create and to give something to others is so enabling.

Chreanne Montgomery-Smith, Support and Development Officer Alzheimer’s Society West Berkshire

My mother came back from the first session on Tuesday the happiest I have seen her for a very long time – what she really loved was the interaction with others.

A relative, 2011

Read an account of Turtle Song 2010 in this newspaper article.
There are DVDs available of the two projects run in 2007/8 and 2008/9.

Showing At

  1. Fairfield Halls, Croydon
    2nd Dec 2015 - 12:00 pm
  2. Royal College of Music
    19th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  3. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    22nd Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  4. Royal College of Music
    26th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  5. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    29th Jan 2016 - 12:00 pm
  6. Royal College of Music
    2nd Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  7. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    5th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  8. Royal College of Music
    9th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  9. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    12th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  10. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    19th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  11. Royal College of Music
    23rd Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  12. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    26th Feb 2016 - 12:00 pm
  13. Royal College of Music
    1st Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  14. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    4th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  15. Royal College of Music
    8th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  16. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    11th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  17. Royal College of Music
    15th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  18. St Hilda’s College, Oxford
    18th Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  19. Royal College of Music
    21st Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm
  20. Royal College of Music
    22nd Mar 2016 - 12:00 pm

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