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Zoom keeps music playing during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 16:15 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:41 23 April 2020

Livestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger

Livestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger

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Pianist and singer Jane Everard discovered the uplifting effect music could have on people living with dementia from playing to her father.

Livestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen PullingerLivestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger

So when the coronovirus lockdown put a stop to her regular care home visits she struck upon the idea of livestreaming sing-a-long concerts from the front room of her home in Swanton Abbott, in north Norfolk.

Karen Spinks, the wellbeing coordinator at Heron Lodge nursing home in Wroxham, quickly arranged a concert for residents using Zoom.

She said: “The stimulation Jane’s music gives the residents is priceless.

“Residents watched on a big screen in the lounge and it was an amazing event; residents sang, staff danced and a grand time was had by all.

Jane Everard at her grand piano at home. Pictures: Stephen PullingerJane Everard at her grand piano at home. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger

“We thank Jane so much; a personalised concert in our lounge direct from Jane’s home on her grand piano is certainly going the extra mile and generated so many smiles.”

Mrs Everard said: “I discovered the amazing impact music has on people living with dementia from playing to my father Allan who died last August.

“At the end he hardly knew who I was but when I began playing he would conduct and his face would light up.”

She said her concerts were interactive and she talked to the residents all the time, using their names.

Livestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen PullingerLivestreamed concert at Heron Lodge. Pictures: Stephen Pullinger

She added: “Residents at Heron Lodge always love my sing-a-longs. Many people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to communicate verbally are able to recall the lyrics and sing-along, or give me a smile and a thumbs-up after each song; it is so heart-warming for both myself and the staff.

“Mavis always enjoys songs from the shows and Brenda will sway and wave her arms; Faraday will clap and conduct and Pauline sings every note of every song. The favourite songs are Bye Bye Blackbird, We’ll Meet Again, Bring me Sunshine and Me and My Girl.”

Heron Lodge manager Maebh McCormack said: “Visits by relatives and friends have had to be put on hold temporarily to protect our residents from the virus so it makes it even more important to find imaginative ways to keep them entertained.”

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