Singing for the Brain 'do the Hallelujah'

Julia Burton of the Alzheimer’s Society recalls the power of the Hallelujah Chorus, as performed at a special event by Singing for the Brain groups in Wiltshire and Dorset. The Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah was the subject of BBC Radio 4’s Soul Music, Tuesday 28 February 2012.

The Alzheimer’s Society runs a group called ‘Singing for the Brain’. It’s for people with dementia or Alzheimers and their carers who come together to sing in a group. As music is tied so closely to emotional memories, often lyrics and music remain firmly fixed in the brain, even though other memories have died away.

Mrs Vera Fiton, whose late husband – Ted – had dementia talks about how important the weekly singing group was for both of them. Taking Ted from his care home to ‘do the Hallelujah’ was a weekly highlight, he enjoyed it so much, Vera recalls, that he’d still be singing in the taxi on the way home.

Listen now (30 minutes)

Availability: Originally broadcast 11:30 on BBC Radio 4’s Soul Music, Tuesday 28 February 2012. Available to listen again until Tuesday 06 March 2012 via BBC iPlayer.