GEORDIE classic Blaydon Races had Blyth care home residents singing along at the top of their voices as they enjoyed a live concert online.
The song was one of dozens performed by musicians and watched on tablet computers by residents at The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street.
The Musical Connection in Care Homes event, an addition to the “Wellbeing Live – Connection Through Music” series, was delivered in partnership by staff from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, partnered with music technology company X-System; Northumbria University and the Calm Foundation.
The performance included singer songwriter Martin Stephenson, member of the Holland Park Opera Alistair Sutherland performing Glenn Miller classics, member of the Christ Church Cathedral Elizabeth Nurse, and pub entertainer Bennet Hogg playing the Northumbrian fiddle.
Angela Hedley, activities coordinator at The Oaks Care Home, said: “We tuned in for the digital music event and the residents really enjoyed it.
“Their favourite part was the Northumbrian fiddle. They sang at the top of their voices to Blaydon Races and Cushy Butterfield.”
Resident Nancy Forsyth, 94, said: “I had never seen anything like that before.”
Fellow resident Ann Sturrock, 77, added: “It was nice to sing good old Geordie songs.”
And resident Margaret Currie, 94, said: “I loved the rock and roll. It’s great.”
The Oaks was one of 119 care homes to benefit from the live music event, which is part of an online music for wellbeing resource on the Trust’s Recovery College Online website.
The online resource has been so successful the Trust’s care home lead, Joanna Marshall, supported the implementation of the scheme in care homes in County Durham, Tees Valley and North Yorkshire.
The resource combines science and technology to provide a catalogue of soothing and calming music and videos.
Different playlists have been curated for care homes to assist with different challenges throughout the day, including “Wake up with The musicals”, “Get going with the Beatles”, “Lunchtime with Glenn Miller”, “Relax with Opera” and “Good night with Doris Day”.
The resource is led by Professor Nigel Osborne, composer and aid worker, who said: “When we first rolled the resource out, we talked to residents, carers and families to discover what music the residents enjoyed and what music stimulated their memories.
“As partners we then created playlists to help the residents throughout the day – from waking up, getting dressed, getting washed and moving, mealtimes, sitting quietly and going to sleep.”
Since the launch, over 20,000 people have accessed the Online Recovery College “Music for Wellbeing” resource and a series of independent “Wellbeing Live – Connection Through Music” sessions, delivered by Nigel Osborne, Chika Robertson, Paras Patel, Angela Kennedy and musicians in their own time.