Turtle Song is a fantastic initiative run in partnership between Turtle Key Arts, Royal College of Music and English Touring Opera. It 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. The usual format for a Turtle Song is that a group of people living with dementia and their companions come together for 10 weekly sessions and with professional composers, workshop leaders and music students write songs that are personal to them – ending with a live performance for friends and family. The aim is to encourage a positive outlook through music for those affected by isolation and depression.
However, Covid restrictions mean that we have to do things a little differently for the moment. Normally, we would collect the participants and bring them together in a communal space, but for Turtle Song Roadshow we're bringing the music to them. We are sending professional composers, directors and music students to visit people, observing social distancing rules, in their own homes, whether in retirement housing, residential dementia units or day centres. Together we're creating songs that connect all the participants together, with each individual sharing their personal stories by contributing to the lyrics and melodies of the songs being composed. We are especially targeting those that haven’t had access to on-line technology. The project will end with a shared filmed on-line performance of the work created by by all the participants, musicians and music students.
Click here for more information on Turtle Song.