kiddleydivey blog

Kiddleydivey provide music for care homes. We are specialists in music and activities for older people with dementia and have been offering these services in the UK for since 1996. A question we are often asked is “what makes Kiddleydivey different from other care home entertainers, or singers in nursing homes?”

Firstly, our sessions are lively, stimulating and fun and seek to engage every resident through music and songs that help them to connect with their memories – memories they were not previously capable of remembering. These memories unlock their ability to communicate, to interact, to share, and to socialise.

Our aim is to stimulate, motivate and energise each and every member of our group. The songs and music Kiddleydivey use have been specifically chosen for their upbeat and engaging qualities. The songs we choose are songs that most people in their eighties, nineties and even hundreds will know very well. Each is song edited by our Founder and therapeutic music specialist, Sally Murphy who ensures that the most recognisable song parts are played twice to help everyone to listen, remember and then participate.

The songs we choose are not just “nice songs from the past”. It is well established that songs and music have the ability to evoke emotion, in even the most advanced of Alzheimer patients. Neurologist Oliver Sacks says that, “Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory… it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

A care home resident attending a Kiddleydivey music session is engaging in a “whole brain” activity. Singing along to familiar songs activates the left side of the brain, listening to the music sparks activity in the right and watching our entertaining session leader activates the visual areas of the brain. With so much of the brain being stimulated, residents are exercising far more mind power than usual.

In our Kiddleydivey sessions we also encourage movement and dancing. We use a variety of props and equipment such as squeezy balls, pompoms, hoops, bubbles and scarves to exercise the body as well as the mind. Our residents are encouraged to participate at any level. Some may choose to sit and watch, others may just use the one mobile arm they still have, many will fully participate and shake the pompoms the same as we do!

Each session we deliver has a clear theme and structure. We produce and engineer each song to play at the correct tempo. This is important as it takes time for an elderly person to process the song information, so a song played too quickly will be unrecognisable to them. Songs have to be at the correct pitch - elderly people usually sing at a lower pitch than younger people. Irrelevant verses or rambling middle sections are cut out so as not to lose the groups attention, and songs are only chosen if they have a cheery disposition! As you can imagine, this is far removed from someone using a karaoke machine or just playing commercial CDs.

We hope this blog goes some way to explaining why Kiddleydivey have more to offer than a care home entertainer or singer. If you would like to experience a Kiddleydivey session in your care home, please contact us. Our Music Leaders across the UK would be delighted to lead you and your residents in a Kiddleydivey session.