Choir Singing and the Eden Alternative*
In 2007 the BBC put together a group of pensioners as part of a series of program called Power to the People. As part of the program they formed a choir and made a cover version of The Who’s My Generation that stayed in the top 40 for two weeks.
Eighteen months later they are actively touring the UK and abroad and have released a CD Lust for Life. The group currently has around 50 members with a combined age of 3,700. They are now one of the world’s most famous groups of old-age pensioners with the young@heart chorus from Northampton, Massachusetts coming a close second.
The original aim of the group was to ‘stick it back to the society that has cast them aside’. The act challenges a host of misconceptions of older people and was described by the Times (20 December 2008) as heart-warming, loud, brash and assertive. With the exception of the first these are not adjectives usually associated with the aged. The widespread publicity they have received has stimulated numerous other pensioner choirs as people realise the benefits of singing as a route to companionship, challenge, and self confidence. Singing in choir addresses all three of the Eden Alternative plagues – Loneliness, Helplessness and Boredom.
*This blog entry has been copied and pasted from the wonderful, concise and insightful Eden-blog written by Paul Bailey, Eden UK trainer and mentor. I liked it so much, so I asked for permission to post it on this blog. More from Eden-UK and Ireland: