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Four older people playing musical instruments

Music Café for Armed Forces Veterans living with dementia

23rd July 2021

We’re delighted to be hosting Orchestra of the Swan’s Café Muse, a music café for Armed Forces Veterans living with dementia.

Café Muse

A group of older people playing instruments, a man in the middle is jumping while playing a guitarCafé Muse is an initiative to allow veterans living with dementia the opportunity take part in a range of interactive music workshops. Participants will explore the sounds of musical instruments as well as learn or rediscover a new musical skill. They will also participate in composition and improvisation sessions and create new friendships and social interactions.

In 2010, we became the first dementia friendly Arts Centre in the UK by joining the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). We also won Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year at the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual Dementia Friendly Awards in 2019.

We deliver regular, free Dementia Friends training sessions, where participants learn a little more about dementia and some of the small ways they can help those living with it. Also on offer is a range of participatory and non-participatory events.

A man with grey hair is listening to music through headphones with his eyes shut

Playing Together, is an interactive, intergenerational play session for older adults and pre-school children. Sessions run every Tuesday at 10.30am in partnership with Wyldwood Arts.

Dementia Friendly performances are also available for most in-house productions at The Courtyard. Coming up next is The Courytard’s annual pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk on Tuesday 4 January at 2pm. These performances have small adjustments made, including sound and lighting, seating plans, signage and refreshment services. Dementia Friendly performances are for everyone but may particularly benefit those living with dementia.

Orchestra of the Swan’s Café Muse is kindly supported by The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and Armed Forces Covenant. Sessions will run weekly at The Courtyard on Wednesdays from 11am – 3pm. The day is free to attend from August to December, and £7.50 per person from January and it includes two workshops and discussions, teas and coffees, and lunch.

Book a place at Café Muse now

Orchestra of the Swan

Orchestra of the Swan became The Courtyard’s resident orchestra in 2018. During this time they have performed a broad range of concerts including the family friendly Carnival of the Animals and Mendelssohn by Tai Murray.

Coming up in our September – December season are two, unique Orchestra of the Swan concerts:

Henry V / Facade 

Tuesday 7 September, 7.30pm (pre-show talk at 6.30pm)

Henry V is the heroic score Walton provided for Laurence Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s Henry V, stirring patriotic feelings during World War II. Tonight we get a rare chance to enjoy the chamber ensemble reduction by Ted Watson, a musician connected so strongly with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Canticles of the Sky

Friday 15 October, 7.30pm (pre-show talk at 6.30pm)

Futuristic Americana and Inspiration from a European Past. Three generations of engaging Americana are represented in this concert from The Courtyard’s resident Orchestra.