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Dementia-friendly concert series in Central London. Welcoming, Inclusive, & Professional! Songhaven concerts feature two professional singers and a pianist who perform an uplifting 40 minute programme in formal concert dress. They are free to attend, with an optional donation at the end. Songhaven concerts are perfect for people who have always enjoyed high-standard music recitals and stage shows, but may feel unable to attend such events now. At Songhaven, everyone is free to be themselves and we take pride in our warm and relaxed atmosphere. Noises and movement from the audience will not be viewed as disruptions. Every concert finishes with an uplifting singalong, followed by a social afternoon tea in the Lumen Cafe.

17 October 2018
Arts, Recreation
Local Alliances:
Camden Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Songhaven provides the dignity of professional concert experiences, in an inclusive, welcoming, and dementia-friendly environment. Music is a powerful way to create connection in our local community - Songhaven provides a safe space for people living with dementia to come together with their companions and/or carers - to be free to sing along and move to well-loved music, performed by young professionals - all graduates of the top UK conservertoires. We aim to bring people together, through a mutual love of good music and create a rewarding experience for performers and audience alike. Our post-concert afternoon tea provides an opportunity for socialising between our artists, our volunteer helpers, and our audience members. 

The familiar and uplifting repertoire performed at Songhaven concert is specfically chosen to help increase a sense of well-being amongst audience members living with dementia. Singing is also a powerful tool, which can open up channels of communication when speech becomes difficult. This is why we always include singalong items in our programmes. As one of our audience members told us so eloquently, "Singing is wonderful- even when the short-term memories are gone, you can still remember words from 40 years ago!” We value the contribution of all our audience members and ask them what songs they most enjoyed, also noting any song requests for inclusion next time.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Time and funding are always limiting factors, but we are building on previous successes and using the network that the Alliance provides to expand our contacts and take more opportunities to bring the unique experience we offer to an ever-wider audience... including building an a online concert archive that people can enjoy at home.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Deliver high-quality dementia-friendly music concerts

    Deliver high-quality music concerts that are dementia-friendly, social, and provide an opportunity for people to enjoy music with their companions and/or carers in a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere.

  • Take an active part in Camden DAA events

    Attend Camden DAA events, share Songhaven concert dates with Camden DAA members, contribute music or event-related assistance as/when relevant.
  • Create Online Concert Platform for people who cannot leave home/hospital

    Fundraise for and build an online concert archive for people who cannot attend Songhaven events in person - to be accessed on a tablet so people can enjoy a concert experience in care facilities, in hospital, or at home. This will be a way of expanding what we do to include people living with dementia who are most at risk of isolation and bring the same benefits of music to them through technology.