The Bridges Choir, whose membership includes residents of Pine Acres Rehab and Living Center, performed their holiday concert earlier this month. The choir focuses on increasing engagement and communicative interactions for individuals with moderate-severe dementia. The ability to sing and appreciate familiar music lasts well beyond rational language and memory, and the choir supports residents in bridging these skills.
Choir members rehearse every Monday under the direction of Jamie Mayer, NIU Associate Professor in Speech-Language Pathology. Graduate Speech-Language Pathology students are paired with choir members to use a combination of strategies, including reminiscence therapy, to maximize attention, engagement, and affect during choir rehearsals.