Never too old to learn: 12 seniors with dementia graduate from music programme, perform at Esplanade

Vocal coach Angelina Choo (left) and participants of the Sing Out Loud! programme during their graduation showcase at the Esplanade.
Vocal coach Angelina Choo (left) and participants of the Sing Out Loud! programme during their graduation showcase at the Esplanade.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ESPLANADE - THEATRES ON THE BAY
Elderly participants of the Sing Out Loud! programme, with their caregivers, during a warm-up session at the Sing Out Loud! graduation showcase at Esplanade.
Elderly participants of the Sing Out Loud! programme, with their caregivers, during a warm-up session at the Sing Out Loud! graduation showcase at Esplanade.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ESPLANADE - THEATRES ON THE BAY

SINGAPORE - Twelve seniors with dementia performed Chinese songs at a closed-door performance at the Esplanade on Saturday (May 5).

The participants performed the five songs as part of their graduation showcase, and the audience got to sing along at some points, too.

The seniors were graduating from the eight vocal training sessions conducted under Sing Out Loud!, a flagship community engagement project organised by Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay along with the Geriatric Education & Research Institute (GERI) and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

Dressed in their best and carrying lyric booklets, the elders followed the lead of vocal coach Angelina Choo and performed songs such as Tian Mi Mi, Chun Feng Wen Shang Wo De Lian and Nan Ping Wan Zhong.

The Sing Out Loud! programme began on March 14 and concludes in October this year.

The seniors learnt how to project their voice, use their diaphragm and facial muscles to control tone and pitch, and also mastered breathing techniques.

The programme is based on the belief that arts is transformative and can help in active ageing.

The programme also serves a research function - GERI will measure the impact of the project on participants' mood and quality of life by assessing them at different points over the project.