In two-parter Our Dementia Choir, McClure investigates the impact of music and singing on dementia patients, forming a choir and orchestra made up of people diagnosed with the disease.
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The film was inspired by McClure’s personal experience, as she helped care for her grandmother who had dementia, and who died in 2015.
850,000 people live with dementia in the UK. While there is no cure, there's growing evidence that music can help with symptoms such as depression and agitation.@Vicky_McClure is setting up a Dementia Choir to investigate that link.#OurDementiaChoir – on in 30 minutes. pic.twitter.com/E9sHjLOiVh
— BBC One (@BBCOne) May 2, 2019
“I learned with my Nonna, who had dementia, that when we sang we were all on the same page,” McClure says during the film.
“For me those were the best days because we were all communicating at the same time and she was smiling, and that’s all I want you guys to do is just enjoy yourselves.”
Viewers found the episode “heartwarming yet heartbreaking” to watch, with many viewers praising McClure for bringing the effects of the disease to their attention.
This show is so heartwarming yet heartbreaking at the same time. Going through the whole emotional range watching it. #ourdementiachoir
— Dave (@DavidMackayy) May 2, 2019
Wasn't emotionally prepared for #ourdementiachoir ???? So heartbreaking to see what impact the cruel disease has, but also so heartwarming to see how incredibly powerful and uplifting music can be
— Georgie (@JustGeorgieH) May 2, 2019
“The power that music has is amazing @Vicky_McClure thanks for making such an extraordinary programme and offering an insight into living with dementia, it is both heart breaking yet really positive,” Faye Eden wrote.
The power that music has is amazing @Vicky_McClure thanks for making such an extraordinary programme and offering an insight into living with dementia, it is both heart breaking yet really positive ????#OurDementiaChoir
— Faye Eden (@FayeAustin2) May 2, 2019
— Lisa Doherty (@limidoh38) May 2, 2019
— Lydia Tierney (@LydiaTierney) May 2, 2019
“The power of music is just amazing. It’s a rollercoaster watch but ultimately the joy is bringing a tear to my eyes,” one viewer said of the show.
Incredible, that’s the only word. Watching @Vicky_McClure #OurDementiaChoir on @BBCOne – the power of music is just amazing. It’s a rollercoaster watch but ultimately the joy is bringing a tear to my eyes.
— Kathryn MASONRYdotie (@MASONRYdotie) May 2, 2019
Members of the choir are also part of a three-year study investigating the impact of music on those with the disease — in one heartwarming moment music teacher Rae rediscovered her love of piano, after giving the instrument up ten years ago following her dementia diagnosis.
Amazed watching the piano being played by Rae #OurDementiaChoir
— Beyond The Beard (@Drmarkredmond) May 2, 2019
“Ray on the piano has me speechless, she’s not played for 10 years and she’s playing like a professional!,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
Ray on the piano has me speechless, she's not played for 10 years and she's playing like a professional! #ourdementiachoir
— Dave (@DavidMackayy) May 2, 2019
This is heartbreaking. Daniel with early onset dementia in his early 30s – his twins are only 2. And then Rae on the piano. ‘I thought I’d forgotten.’ Music is magic #OurDementiaChoir
— Helena Pielichaty (@HelenaPielichat) May 2, 2019
— Amy (@scifisunsets) May 2, 2019
Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure continues on BBC1 on Thursday 9th May at 8pm