Arts and Health

Live Music Now: Monkscroft Care Centre

In autumn of 2019, Live Music Now embarked on a 6-week intergenerational music project with Monkscroft Care Centre, Tinies Nursery, Windsor Street Care Centre and Tree Tops Nursery, led by Live Music Now singer/songwriter Julia Turner. This project centred on the idea that everyone is a musician with their own musical identities, and that through play and exploration, music can grow.

During this project, children and elderly residents exchanged their favourite songs with one another, writing their own songs and sharing ideas for melodies and lyrics. There was even a song about the chickens at Monkscroft, which the nursery children helped to name. Leader of the project, Julia Turner noted how when one resident joined in singing along and smiling, the staff at Monkscroft Care Centre were taken aback, having not seen her engage in anything for a long time.

When Covid hit in 2020, the project had to shift a little. 


“During the pandemic, our way of engaging with music had to change in many ways. We were still able to offer those natural musical engagements daily however we immediately missed that engagement with our local community such as musicians visiting us.”

Sarah Davis, Activity Coordinator at Monkscroft Care Centre

Adapting to this new situation, Julia created a video for the residents at Monkscroft which included the song about the chickens. The familiarity for the residents was key, and lots of memories and conversations were sparked amongst the residents. Monkscroft Care Centre then began working remotely with Live Music Now musician Chris Webb during the pandemic. Chris’ residency was conducted via zoom and led a collaborative song-writing project culminating in ‘A Monkscroft Christmas’. Both Monkscroft and Windsor Street Care Centres are back with in-person music activities.

This project was featured as a case study in a consultation report produced by the National Activity Provider’s Association (NAPA) and funded by the Baring Foundation, in September 2021.

You can visit Live Music Now’s story about the project at Monkscroft Care Centre, where you can also access the full consultation report. Click here: Keeping the Music Going at Monkscroft Care Centre

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