When we think of choirs, we often think of robed church choristers, rosy cheeked Christmas carollers, or even professional troupes taking the stage at iconic venues, like Sydney’s Opera House.
Choir Conductor Brian Triglone, recently told ABC news that his choir “won’t be at the Opera House but we’ve got some little things … in mind,”
In truth, what Brian and his choir are achieving, together, goes way beyond little things.
You see, Brian is transforming the lives of those in his choir and those around them.
In a recent report by ABC news, Brian said that he was inspired by similar choirs overseas, when he partnered with Alzheimer’s Australia ACT, to create The Alchemy Chorus.
The choir is about reducing social isolation and providing an uplifting experience for people with dementia and equally, their carers.
According to the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation, people with dementia who participate in regular singing sessions show improvements in their brain function.
ABC news interviewed Robina Lindenmeyer, who was moved to tears when she saw her husband, Ian, transformed by the music.
“To see Ian singing these songs and looking so happy is just such a wonderful experience for us both because Alzheimer’s is just taking away from him his whole language skills, his ability to communicate,” she said.
“It’s just been so marvellous to see the barriers being broken down within his mind. His cognitive ability … seems to have come back through music.”
More than 300,000 Australians are living with dementia, but that number is predicted to triple in the next 30 years, partly because of Australia’s ageing population.
The Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia, Ita Buttrose, recently told the National Press Club, that dementia sufferers are some of the loneliest people in Australia, because too often people assume little can be done for them.
Brian Triglone and his choir are certainly on the way to breaking down that myth, and showing that independence, happiness and quality of life can be achieved in some of the most easily available, yet rarely thought of ways.
Such is the power of music. It brings people together, evokes nostalgia and can even have health benefits. At Care Connect, we believe in the importance of connection to community as we age. A sense of belonging is important to many people. This connectedness and belonging is something that we try to foster by ensuring that our own clients receive genuinely independent advice and guidance, so that they can stay living in their own homes, connected to the communities and activities they value.
As Christmas draws nearer, choirs and chorus groups all over the world are dusting off their song sheets, exercising their vocal chords and readying themselves to inspire and entertain us for a few short days. It is wonderful to see The Alchemy Chorus keeping the joy alive all year.
Read the full ABC story about The Alchemy Chorus, and the SBS story about Ita Buttrose’s address to the National Press Club.