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Center hosts first Resident Chime Choir Christmas

Residents sit in a semi-circle and play when they receive their cue. Reminder Publications submitted photo
HAMPDEN The Mary Lyon Skilled Care Center in Hampden recently held its first annual Resident Chime Choir Christmas Concert for residents and families on Dec. 17. Mary Lyon is a 100-bed Skilled Care Center with approximately 90 percent of its residents displaying some degree of memory impairment.

The Resident Chime Choir is made up of 12 residents. The residents meet once a week for a 1-hour rehearsal for preparation of their concerts. The residents sit in a semi-circle and are conducted by: Gina Marcotte, MT-BC, HPMT (Music Therapy Director) and Kelly Dyer, AD (Activity Director).

The Chimes are a type of handbell shaped like a metal tube with a hammer attached. The hammer functions like the hammer inside a piano- when the handchime is played, the hammer hits the tube and a bell-like tone is heard.

Each of the 12 residents hold one chime (some hold two) and play the chime when the conductor cues them. The benefit of this method is that the residents do not need any musical background or the ability to read music.

The therapeutic purpose of having a Chime Choir in a long-term facility is to improve the residents quality of life. Some of the goals for the 12 Chime Choir members is to increase: self-esteem, self-worth socialization, awareness of each other and an increase of their attention span, along with a decrease of: isolation, loneliness, depression, wandering and also attention-seeking behaviors.

The Chime Choir started in February and has performed at Mary Lyon Skilled Care Center's Family Night, Memorial Service, Fourth of July Concert and a Christmas Concert. The Resident Chime Choir has proved to be a successful addition to Mary Lyon and is enjoyed by residents, families, staff and community members.

For more information on Music Therapy or the Mary Lyon Resident Chime Choir, please contact Gina Marcotte, MT-BC, HPMT (Director of Music Therapy) at 566-5511.