Gorton's Extraordinary Monastery to host weekly Music Café for People with Dementia

Manchester Camerata's cafe will re-launch today to bring together local musicians to help families struggling with the difficulties of dementia…

By Emma Davidson | May 18th '22

This week sees the launch of Manchester Camerata’s Music Cafe inside Gorton’s famous Monastery, an endeavour that offers sessions to support families and individuals struggling with dementia.

Marking Dementia Action Week, there’s a new roster of professional musicians and music therapists to aid along the way, and generously funded by McLay Dementia Trust.

As an orchestra whose dementia-music work is fundamental to its year-round Community programme, these music therapy-based Music café sessions are at the very heart of Manchester Camerata’s commitment and intent to create and produce music that matters.

Coinciding with Dementia Action Week, which runs from the 16th – 22nd May and aims to shed light on the devastating condition, Manchester Camerata will provide FREE weekly events starting from today, Wednesday 18th May.

During each session, songs are created by the participants through improvised rhythms, guided along by the Camerata’s trained musicians and therapists.

The aim of the music cafe is to offer respite to families who have little to no additional support in caring for family members with the memory loss condition. It’s a free, safe space to meet others that are going through a similar situation.

It also shows how important music is to reconnect the minds of those living with dementia to loved ones and former memories. It’s also a valuable tool to be used as a common language when speech is no longer available.

The cafe also proved so popular that another space was set up in Wigan’s Museum of Life to provide more people with its essential services. This music cafe runs fortnightly on Mondays, all the way through until August. 

Lizzie Hoskin, Head of Community at Manchester Camerata, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to relaunch our Music Café this month, in Dementia Action Week. As we saw first-hand when the cafes first began in both Gorton and in Wigan, these music-making sessions make such a positive impact to those living with dementia and also their carers.

“Our musicians and Community team are really looking forward to welcoming past and new friends to The Monastery, sharing a cup of tea and making music again in the amazing Great Nave – and even have a bit of a dance!

“We’re really proud to be able to make this Music Cafe possible with thanks to the generosity of the McLay Dementia Trust. It’s so exciting to see the positive impact our year-round Community programme and life-enhancing dementia work is having.”

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The Music Cafe in Gorton will be open every Wednesday from 10am until midday.

To find out more or book a place at one of the sessions, email info@manchestercamerata.com