We support the health and wellbeing of older people using participatory musical activities, particularly singing.
We coordinate Silver Song Clubs in the community to provide regular sessions of singing and music-making – primarily for seniors who are aging in place/at home.
Our work is embedded in research undertaken by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health based within Canterbury Christ Church University, in the UK. Learn more.
Our charitable foundation was established in Canada in 2008 as one of the first international chapters of the UK originating charity that began in 2005.
We are based in Kelowna BC and bring participatory singing and music-making to seniors throughout the province; expansion across Canada is our hope.
Nigel Brown, Executive Director
Sing for Your Life (SFYL) was founded in the UK by Nigel’s family in 2005, in collaboration with the Sydney De Hann Research Centre for Arts and Health. Nigel has been involved in the nonprofit sector since 1983, when he co-founded the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada. It was a natural fit for him to introduce SFYL into BC. Nigel becomes infectious about causes he believes in and with Canada’s aging population – and too few services that focus on wellness for older people –he is committed to seeing the organization grow.
In 2012, Nigel received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years and he says the health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological:
“Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.”
“It was a cathartic moment for me when I realised that I had an outlet for all the emotions I was carrying, singing became my much-needed therapy. I had never before realised the incredible healing powers of music” – Siobhan Patten, Social Worker