Tag Archives: kim perkins

Clairleigh Nursing Home Project, Bromley, Summer 2015

In 2012, Community Music in Action delivered a project that worked with the elderly users of ‘White Gables ‘, a day centre in Bromley, set up by the Alzheimer’s Society. The music sessions, led by Kim Perkins, were such a success we have asked her to work with us again on a similar project this year at Clairleigh Nursing Home.

Kim is delivering an hour long music session each week, for the duration of the ten week project. Each weekly session has a different musical focus, for example folk, classical, popular, jazz and world music, as well as music made for the stage and screen. The sessions explore singing, percussion and instrumental music. CMIA will be purchasing a djembe drum, which will be gifted to Clairleigh for the residents to use in future music sessions within the home.

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During the first session the focus was on confidence and 2-part singing, drawing on African songs, rock ’n’ roll numbers, and writing new lyrics to the folk classic ’The River is Flowing’. The workshop ended with a knees up – with the group showing Kim how a knees up is really done!

“One of the participants has a really good ear and picks up rhythms
from the piano accompaniment that she adds whilst singing;
she was our Ringo Starr today. The group really enjoyed songs like
Dream, Why do fools fall in love and Let’s Twist Again.
They channelled their inner teenager for Satisfaction (I can’t get no) and
sang songs in 2-parts adding shoowops, doowops
and da do rons, typical of the idiom.”

Kim Perkins, Workshop Leader

In one of the following weeks the group explored songs from around the world: including songs in Spanish, Sesotho and Polynesian. The participants were really open to new experiences and material. They mashed up Guantanamera with Twist and Shout, sang welcome in Arabic, and Que Sera Sera for their oldie but goody number!

Another session explored jazz classics with the group, exploring songs by Cab Calloway, Nina Simon, Peggy Lee and more.  The group discovered walking basslines – particularly as they sang 5 songs in one. But the most fun came from their warm-up of “Mama Don’t Allow” and “Down Down” as the group really got into vocalising, and singing in parts with guest musician Ruth on the bass helping to hold the tune with one group and the rest harmonising with Kim, the workshop leader.

Music is a huge motivator for the group who often go about their daily activities either individually i.e. watching television in their rooms, or in small groups. So coming together as a group of 15-18 to sing has been really exciting.

“They’ll be happy the rest of the day now”

 “Member of staff, Clairleigh

Rock’n’roll week had the participants singing hits by Little Richard, The Beatles and Elvis. Luckily this didn’t encourage too much of a rebellious streak but definitely lots of singing and drumming. When they were singing ‘She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah), Anne, one of the participants said how one of her children used to sing “yeah yeah yeah” in the pram after hearing that song when it was first released.

Project Aims

  • to enhance the general wellbeing of and raise the spirits of participants through collaborative music making and an enjoyable shared experience, bringing the residents of Clairleigh together.
  • To benefit residents with dementia, for whom specific music may help them to recall past experiences, and personal memories.
  • To improve vocal and rhythm techniques and sing songs in different genres, learning from a professional.~

  • To include everyone and make activities accessible to all participants.

  • To work towards a final performance event for carers to attend.

  • To document the project through film/photos.

  • To encourage collaboration, community spirit and a sense of achievement.

Project Leader

Kim Perkins is an active workshop leader who works with members of the community helping to discover and explore their creativity. Trained classically in flute and piano, she graduated from the University of York in 2004 with a BA in Music. During her studies Kim developed a passion for community music, volunteering as a key member of Music Education Group which provided workshops for school children in York. After university she worked at the Royal Academy of Music Museum for over four years as Museum Project Coordinator. In this role she was responsible for managing various aspects of the museum including the project management and delivery of outreach events and educational resources, organising major events including conferences, fundraising and policy development.

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Glebe School, West Wickham, January 2013

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Glebe School provides specialist secondary education for students with diverse special educational needs including emotional/behavioural, speech/language and communication difficulties, as well as those with specific learning problems and those on the autistic spectrum.

In January 2013, Community Music In Action engaged experienced community musician Kim Perkins to set up and run a lunchtime choir for students at the school. The project, funded wholly by CMIA, aimed to encourage enthusiasm for singing and entice students to join in vocal activities outside of lessons, thereby affording them the opportunity to express themselves and to communicate through music, as well as inspiring collaboration and teamwork.

Music staff had previously struggled to entice students to join in singing activities outside of lessons, so the project aimed to encourage enthusiasm for singing and establish a choir that pupils enjoy that has continued beyond the end of the CMIA-funded project.

“When I first met with Becky [CMIA Projects Officer] to plan the project, I was concerned that it should be something that would provide a lasting legacy for the school, rather than a ‘flash-in-the-pan’ that would only benefit a few students for a short time. I believe we have succeeded in this as there is now a core group of regular attendees to our lunchtime choir, and I look forward to building on this foundation.”

Margaret Hawkins
Head of Music, Glebe School

Kim recruited members through a series of singing taster sessions with different classes across the school and also supported a Year 8 music class each week, working alongside the music teacher to explore harmonies as well as leading the choir each week. The culmination of the project took place on Thursday 21 March when the students performed to their parents and carers in an informal sharing assembly.

Teachers and teaching assistants attended Kim’s sessions to learn from her so that they could take over the leading of the choir when her involvement ended. A volunteer from the charity also attended the sessions to assist the group with their singing, encourage participation and document the project.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to volunteer on this project and experience first-hand how Community Music In Action is enriching the lives of others through music.”

Sarah Richardson
CMIA member and project volunteer
Sarah’s full volunteer diary can be found in our March 2013 newsletter.

PROJECT AIMS

  • To set up a choir that students are enthusiastic about and enjoy being part of.
  • To inspire pupils and enable them to express themselves.
  • To encourage communication through the medium of singing.
  • To encourage the enjoyment of singing as a group and have fun.
  • To improve vocal and rhythmic techniques, learning from a professional.
  • To include everyone and make activities accessible to all participants.
  • To document the project through film/photos.
  • To encourage collaboration, community spirit and a sense of achievement.

“I like to sing but I get so nervous and shy about doing it.
It’s not so scary when you’re singing with other people.”

Student, Glebe School

PROJECT LEADER

Kim Perkins is an active workshop leader who works with members of the community helping to discover and explore their creativity. Trained classically in flute and piano, she graduated from the University of York in 2004 with a BA in Music. During her studies Kim developed a passion for community music, volunteering as a key member of Music Education Group which provided workshops for school children in York. After university she worked at the Royal Academy of Music Museum for over four years as Museum Project Coordinator. In this role she was responsible for managing various aspects of the museum including the project management and delivery of outreach events and educational resources, organising major events including conferences, fundraising and policy development.

“Working with the students of Glebe School has been an absolute pleasure. The students have responded with real enthusiasm for singing and the staff have been encouraging and supportive. Over the past eight weeks the whole school has participated in vocal activities whether through our first assembly together, taster workshops with each class or ‘Cool Voices’. Community Music In Action has enabled a wave of enthusiasm for singing which permeated throughout the school, and I can’t wait to see the music groups after Easter to see how they continue to come together to be creative and enjoy music.”

Kim Perkins
Project leader

Here are some soundbites from the various singing sessions:

FUNdamentally GOSPEL Winter Concert 2012

Moving to a bigger venue proved a huge success as FUNdamentally GOSPEL drew their biggest audience yet, rocking Citygate Church in Beckenham with their uplifting mix of pop, gospel and world music and raising a whopping £750 for Community Music In Action in the process. FG 2012 12 08 Citygate Church CHOIRMusic workshop facilitator Kim Perkins was also there to speak about the recent project at White Gables Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre which she had led.

FG 2012 12 08 Citygate Church KIM PERKINS

Thanks to everyone who supported the event as a performer or audience member, by taking donations on the door or serving refreshments in the interval, or by working behind the scenes to make sure everything went smoothly. It was a fantastic night and the money raised will go a long way towards funding other brilliant music projects in our local community.

White Gables Centre (Alzheimer’s Society), Bromley, July 2012

Using a grant from The Concertina Charitable Trust, Community Music In Action engaged Kim Perkins to lead a series of music sessions at the Bromley branch of the Alzheimer’s Society. Kim worked with the daycare centre users on popular, rock ’n’ roll and world songs, with members of FUNdamentally GOSPEL joining them for their last session and both groups performing to each other.

​“The purpose of this fabulous project was to include people with dementia in community music and it has certainly been met enthusiastically by our clients.
Music and singing provide great stimulation and are a powerful memory tool;
all participants really enjoyed their afternoons with Kim.”​

​Anne Diamond
Manager, White Gables Alzheimer’s Daycare Centre

White Gables 1

Alzheimer's logo

concertinatrust

PROJECT AIMS

  • To encourage the enjoyment of singing as a group, and have fun.
  • To improve vocal and rhythm techniques and sing songs in different genres, learning from a professional.
  • To include everyone and make activities accessible to all participants.
  • To work towards a final performance event for carers to attend.
  • To document the project through film/photos.
  • To encourage collaboration, community spirit and a sense of achievement.

PROJECT LEADER

Kim Perkins is an active workshop leader who works with members of the community helping to discover and explore their creativity. Trained classically in flute and piano, she graduated from the University of York in 2004 with a BA in Music. During her studies Kim developed a passion for community music, volunteering as a key member of Music Education Group which provided workshops for school children in York. After university she worked at the Royal Academy of Music Museum for over four years as Museum Project Coordinator. In this role she was responsible for managing various aspects of the museum including the project management and delivery of outreach events and educational resources, organising major events including conferences, fundraising and policy development.