Monday, 16th September 2019
Run your own 'Stories from M&S Sheet Music' session
Sheet music was a bestselling product at M&S during the 1910s, at a time when gathering round the piano was a popular form of entertainment for families; many stores would also have a pianist on the shop floor. The M&S Company Archive now holds a significant collection of sheet music including music for dancing, romantic songs, storytelling songs and folk music.
Working in partnership with Leeds International Piano Competition, the project has helped a group of people with dementia experience piano music in a new way. Music can benefit older people and those with dementia by reducing anxiety, lifting mood and helping maintain speech and language.
The group, all people who attend Leeds' Complex Needs Day Centres, listened to recordings of piano music and with the help of writer SK Perry, created artwork and written pieces inspired by the music. You can see a short film about the project here.
We've created session plans to help activity coordinators or volunteers in care settings and memory cafes run their own 'Stories from M&S Sheet Music' sessions. These free resources and recordings of the piano music, can be found here: marksintime.marksandspencer.com/sheetmusic
This project was made possible by the generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.