Glee Club, Seniors, Older Adults, Baycrest, Singing, Couple, hits, Elvis, Sinatra Care Community Research

“When the Buddy’s Glee Club first began as a small research project in our day centre back in 2011, we had no idea how popular the club would become. Participants enjoyed singing so much, they asked us to keep it going and as the research study expanded, new Glee Clubs were created across the Baycrest campus.  Currently, there are Buddy’s Glee Clubs in the Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged, and in both day centres. Music therapists act as the conductors for each group, which allows us to customize every session for the unique needs of each group. We’ve seen many Glee Club members make new friendships and strengthen relationships with caregivers, family members and friends.”

– Kiki Chang, Music Therapist, Department of Culture and Arts at Baycrest Health Sciences

Featuring songs from the 1950s and 1960s, Buddy’s Glee Clubs have been a part of life at Baycrest for the past six years. Each week, groups of older adults with a wide range of cognitive abilities gather in recreation rooms and shared spaces at Baycrest to sing hits from artists such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and from popular Broadway musicals. Music therapists choose songs to match the moods, emotions, and memories of each group and often pause rehearsals to jump into discussions about the histories of the musicians, songs and the participants’ own histories in relation to music. This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor.

Music is a part of everyday life in other ways too. Many philanthropic families enable Baycrest to present concerts for patients, residents and their families. Thank you to Hugh Furneaux, who generously joined the group this year by sponsoring our Sunday Concert Series.