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Project information

Lost Chord

We aspire to improve the quality of life and well being of people living with dementia in residential homes by providing interactive musical sessions to stimulate areas of the brain that are still responsive, which leave a feeling of calm and raised self esteem.

April 2009 - April 2011

Charity information: Lost Chord

Lost Chord logo
  • Need


    People who suffer from severe dementia lose their ability to walk, talk, feed themselves or communicate in any way which often leads to feelings of aggression, intimidation and humiliation which can leave one with a distinct lack of self esteem. Music provides the necessary stimulus to raise their self esteem and help them to continue to communicate through music song and dance.


    We provide interactive music to stimulate areas of the brain which are still intact and visit the homes on a monthly basis to build on the responses from the previous sessions. With the onset of dementia the left hand side of the brain dealing with speech etc tends to die off first, however the right hand side dealing with music, song and dance can remain intact much longer. Live music stimulates this side of the brain often achieving some amazing results.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To raise self-esteem and general wellbeing for those suffering from dementia.


    » We will provide a one-hour session per month for 11 months in each of the 104 residential homes on the scheme.

    What success will look like

    Success will be indicated by the improved responses which are reported after each concert by the musicians, carers and volunteers.

    Aim 2

    To help sustain the musical career of highly trained and professional musicians.


    » We can broaden the experience of young musicians who have a desire to work in the field of dementia whilst maintaining their musical integrity.

    What success will look like

    Success will be indicated by the number of musicians who go on to sustained employment in the musical arena and are therefore no longer able to perform as often for Lost Chord.

    Aim 3

    To offer valuable and rewarding work to those who seek to work in the voluntary sector.


    » We can provide the training and opportunity for those wishing to help in the caring sector which could lead on to permanent employment.

    What success will look like

    Success will be determined by the increased number of volunteers working on the scheme and the number of years they stay working for Lost Chord.

    Aim 4

    To offer similar interactive sessions for the elderly in the Black and Asian community.


    » Using Asian musicians and dancers to perform appropriate music in Asian day centres for the eldery

    What success will look like

    Success will be achieved by the number of sessions that can be performed in the year and the positive feedback from those sessions.

  • Impact


    The long term changes will be in helping to keep those with dementia live more active and stimulated thereby hopefully reducing the ongoing effect of the deterioration of the brain.


    Demand exceeds supply in this important field of therapeutic work. A lack of funds could seriously affect the number of sessions. In order to alleviate this risk the Chief Executive has a rolling programme of applications to funders. The lack of available musicians can affect our ability to fulfil the commitment to provide a regular monthly session in all the venues.
    To alleviate this risk a regular programme of auditions and appropriate training help to sustain the number of suitable musicians


    We receive reports from every concert performed, by the host, the musicians and the volunteer to get feedback in order to quantify the success of the scheme. Copies of these reports will be passed onto the donors giving a measure of the success of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £272,923

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £167,508 Concert expenses musicians expenses, subsistence & travel
      £74,204 Salaries Chief Exec, plus 2 staff
      £17,255 office/rent/stationery/marketi office costs/ stationery, photocopy/post
      £13,956 office/travel Travel/equip/training

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Big Lottery £116,652 Guaranteed
  • Background


    South Yorkshire has a population of 1.29 million but the increase in international competition in iron and steel caused a decline in traditional local industries coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area. Although Sheffield has seen extensive redevelopment since then and experienced steady growth that can’t be said for the rest of South Yorkshire, unemployment is below the national average in Barnsley and the region is still one of the least prosperous areas in Western Europe.


    People with dementia, carers benefit from training sessions to give them a greater understanding of the therapeutic effects of music. Young musicians benefit from gainful employment plus vital experience from working in this field.
    Volunteers benefit from the opportunity of working in this rewarding field of therapy particularly in the knowledge that they are helping one of the most vulnerable sectors of society.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have 11 years experience of working in this field of therapeutic music and are probably the only charity to visit every home on the scheme on a regular monthly basis in an attempt to improve the lives of those struggling with dementia in the residential homes and day centres on the scheme.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helena Muller

    1.Chief Executive, founded the scheme, has worked tirelessly over the last 11 years to have a beneficial impact on the lives of those with dementia.

    Kim Bottomley

    2 The Admin/Accounts Clerk has worked for the Lost Chord for 7 years and has single handedly kept the admin side of the scheme on track giving loya

    Tina Harrison

    3. Marketing/fundraising manger is working to raise awareness in order to attract funding and support from both the corporate and community sector.