Get Singing and Moving with Heatons Harmonies

Get Singing and Moving with Heatons Harmonies

Heatons Harmonies is a neighbourhood singing and movement project which will connect the residents of the Green and Slater Rest Houses, Heaton Moor and the wider community in workshops and live performances, and aims to bring generations together through music and promote community awareness and social inclusion.

The project is being delivered in partnership between Lips Inked Arts CIC and Green and Slater Rest Houses. Lips Inked Arts is a grassroots organisation that provides inspiring arts opportunities to underserved communities across Manchester. We deliver projects which bring people together, encourage positive relationships, reduce loneliness and isolation, and allow people to access high-quality cultural activities either free of charge or at an accessible rate.

The aim of Heatons Harmonies is to create a space where residents come together to engage in ensemble singing and chair-based, accessible yoga. The project will run over six monthly workshops, with the last one being a showcase event open to the local community. The project is being delivered by a musical director and piano accompanist, and a qualified yoga instructor. Delphine Evans is a musician, educator, and facilitator with a background in performance and community work, and Cherie Burnett has taught adaptive yoga to adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in a range of settings.

This unique project fits into two of the themes of Stockport Town of Culture: Stockport Moves and Stockport Sounds. Our aim is to get our participants more active and involved in exercise through accessible yoga, and to get them doing creative activities by singing and making music. The residents of the home are all older people and include those living with a range of mobility needs and degenerative conditions. Through our project, they have an opportunity to come together, socialise, and boost their physical and mental health. Friends and family members of the residents are also invited to attend the sessions, to take part in a positive activity together and have an enjoyable experience.

Shirley who is in her 80s used to tend bar at the local public house – The Nursery; she is well-known by the community from her years of conversing with punters, knowing the ins and outs of theirs lives, and encouraging laughs to all she interacts with. But these days she has trouble getting out as she is recovering from a stroke which has affected her use of the right side of her body – while still having that same quick mind, sense of fun, and thirst to be with people. Shirley has attended all sessions, hair done and ready to go, ready to try something new, to request her favourite songs on the piano to sing along with, and encouraging discussion with other residents about different eras, different instruments, and the effect of their sound on our mood and soul. She has expressed her enjoyment and gratitude for the sessions like many of the other residents- our project has made a difference in bringing everyone back together on a regular basis, providing community within reach and stimulation for conversation.

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