In addition to our community activities we also enjoy working on special projects during the year.
Through our special project with Unltd to develop Musical Memories further, we had the wonderful opportunity to go to London and Salter Baxter for Innovation Day 2018. During the day we worked with some of the brightest and most innovative people we have ever met from many different business disciplines.
This short video gives a flavour
By sheer coincidence it was International Make Music Day and this year the theme song was Bring me Sunshine – and so we had to have a singalong of course!
We had a wonderful time during Carers Week in June singing with lots of people in every one of the libraries in Ryedale. We sang in Pickering, Kirkbymoorside, Malton, Norton and Helmsley Libraries.
Lots of our regular singers came along, together with many new faces and we were lucky enough to be able to sing with some lovely children in Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside.
In each of the libraries we had a warm welcome from staff and volunteers and Carers Support had a representative at each of the sessions to help us to talk about the wonderful work of carers in our communities. Much of what carers do for loved ones and neighbours and friends goes unreported – Carers Week was a way of highlighting this vital work and hopefully recruiting new volunteers and helping people make new connections. A little bit of singing hopefully helped to remind us of how much good is done by carers everywhere.
Here are just a few pictures from our tour:
Rob Townsend a local photographer has visited us at our Kirkbymoorside singing group on many occasions over the winter and spring of this year. He has been trying to capture the link between memory and singing as digital images. The results are amazing as we think you will agree.
You can hear one of the songs we sang behind the images here – Memory Waves
Our singers soon got used to Rob being around taking photographs and in May we held a joint Open Day and Exhibition where Rob’s images were showcased.
We also got used to having Rob around when he photographed us as we worked on another project with local playwright Libby Pearson.
‘As we are living longer the need to improve people’s health and quality of life has never been more important. There is real potential for museums… to play a long term role in supporting a healthier population.’ (Duncan Selbie – Chief Executive Public Health England) This report on museums as spaces for well-being goes on to explain more.
At Musical Memories we have seen first hand the way that memories are stirred by the combination of singing songs and handling artefacts from a museum collection. We have loved working with Ella Voce – Manager Beck Isle Museum Pickering during this past year.
Recently we created a Seaside Special event where we sang a selection of seaside inspired songs and Ella brought along some beautiful and interesting items from the Sun Sea and Sandals exhibition.
Late last year we filled Beck Isle Museum’s Parlour with our singers from around Ryedale for a celebration of Victorian and Edwardian songs.
We wanted to reach out to more people in the Pickering area by delivering singing sessions at a variety of new locations. These included Pickering Library, Ryebeck Court, Mickle Hill (retirement developments) and 5 Whitby Road (elderly persons home). Our aim was to break down barriers and encourage people from each of these communities to interact with each other, helping to reduce isolation and loneliness.
This project was supported the NYCC Stronger Communities Fund.
When we were invited by the Arts Team at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to deliver some happy hour sessions at Malton Hospital we were delighted to oblige.
On each of four consecutive Fridays in April we visited Fitzwilliam Ward to sing with patients, staff and visitors.
We devised a novel way of moving our musical instruments from bay to bay using our trusty trolley.
Feedback was universally positive and patients wondered when we would be able to return.
As part of the #Vote100 centenary of votes for women we were commissioned by Ryedale District Council to create a workshop to take a message to school students in the area about the importance of voting when they become adults.
We created a workshop to involve the students in the stories about the Suffragettes’ struggle and the impact this had on the lawmakers of the day.
We also found a wonderful link to music and singing in all of this. It turns out that before social media and mass communication the Suffragettes message was spread quickly throughout the land by using well known songs and hymns and getting the message across by changing the words. In this way the new message was easily learned and shared everywhere. Examples of this included changing the words to Onward Christian Soldiers and John Brown’s Body.
Further workshops are scheduled for both Primary and Secondary schools in Ryedale in the coming months.
This Spring at Musical Memories we resolved to banish all thoughts of beast, mini-beast or even the prospect of after-beast and all of the cold, damp weather we experienced during the winter.
What better way to celebrate the 1st day of Spring than to combine a friendly get together with a cream tea, a couple of hours of singing and a game of bingo?
That’s right, there IS no better way…
So, on Wednesday 21st March a lovely crowd of daffodils (and over 40 of our very lovely singers from all over Ryedale) gathered in the Memorial Hall in Pickering for our very first Springo-Singo-Bingo session. To be truthful, Ruth and I had never played bingo before so much googling and a little bit of help from our many friends at Danby Village Hall we figured out a way to call the numbers and fit in plenty of singing – after all, the singing part was the real reason to get together!
During the tea break Ruth’s scones with jam and cream helped fortify everyone for the second half and we managed to squeeze 22 songs and a full game of bingo into our 2 hour session.
The sun shone, fluffy clouds scudded across the sky and everyone left feeling much better and with a definite spring in their step.
Our ‘Treasured’ project was one of 8 projects to be awarded funding in 2017 from the NYCC Innovation Fund managed by Your Consortium. We gathered together a group of older people from the Ryedale area to meet, sing and talk about the stories and memories attached to songs which had a special meaning for them. We spent many happy hours talking and laughing and reminiscing together during the spring and summer of 2017.
We settled into each workshop and talked, reminisced, sang, laughed and sometimes cried – each of the chosen songs bringing back cherished memories.
At the end of the project all participants received a CD with recordings of their ‘Treasured’ selections together with a booklet insert containing the special reasons behind the song choices.
We know that these mementoes of the project will give pleasure for many years to come.
Working in partnership with Warm & Well North Yorkshire, we delivered the message of how to stay warm and well over the winter months to many of the lovely villagers in Danby and Middleton who came together to share wholesome and warming lunches. We all then enjoyed a cheering singalong with songs from our Winter songbook – many of which were about the weather!
We also held a Musical Memories Warm and Well lunch at Helmsley Arts Centre.
Everyone listened to Neil’s hints and tips about how to stay warm and well and how to save energy too.
And then the songbooks came out!
Some of our songs:
The list went on and on….
Working with Rural Action Yorkshire on bringing singing to a group of 8 small village halls over a six month period.