Arts, Crafts & Melodies:
Art is a form of creative expression that allows people to communicate their thoughts, emotions, and perspectives. For seniors, engaging with the arts can help improve their physical and mental well-being by promoting cognitive function and creating opportunities for them to connect with others. Furthermore, art can be an avenue for elf-development and fostering a positive outlook on life. As such, the importance of art to seniors cannot be overstated.
Participating seniors doing movement exercises with canes and balls to train their hand-eye coordination.
In a collaboration between Lions Befrienders and the National Arts Council for the SilverArts initiative, “Breathing Life” was part of the Community Arts Engagement Programme at LB Bendemeer AAC to showcase our seniors’ artistic talents by introducing them to the concept of artmaking through common elements found in their daily lives. Guided by local artist Ms anGie Seah, seniors went on bonding trips, did vocal and movement exercises in harmony and trained their coordination skills to create music using everyday objects and traditional toys like paper balls, rattan canes and pillows.
Exhibition of clay artworks and musical performance by the seniors for the final showcase of “Breathing Life” .
After 4 months of strategic preparation and purposeful engagement, the programme concluded with a showcase that comprised a musical performance and an exhibition of clay artworks by the LB seniors. The clay artworks formed a vessel to contain items that represented their best memories and experiences. In particular, the musical performance was a team effort that took many rounds of practice and required our seniors to be cooperative and synergetic. This enabled them to develop a higher level of connection and rapport as they worked passionately towards the common goal of delivering a flawless performance for the audience.
MP Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State for Defence of Singapore, appreciating the seniors’ artworks and interacting with them.
It was an honour to have MP Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State for Defence of Singapore, grace the final showcase with his presence. The artworks captured his attention, and he showed a keen interest in them. He also enjoyed the musical performance by our seniors and showed his appreciation for their passion and hard work. In response, our seniors took the opportunity to share with him about the creative process behind “Breathing Life” and the final showcase. They were delighted to elaborate on the inspirations that took form in their artworks and convey their experiences throughout the programme.
(Left) Ms Nellie Wee, 83, sharing her perspectives during the programme.
(Right) Local artist Ms anGie Seah guiding the seniors for their musical performance.
Ms Nellie Wee, one of the participating LB seniors, felt that the experience throughout the programme was great. “This is the first time for me to learn different things. We used plastic bags, paper balls and other items to make different music and sounds. I look forward to attending these sessions every week.”
In tandem, Ms anGie Seah offered nothing but praise for the seniors’ dedication, work and accomplishments. She said, “Over the course of 4 months, I could witness their progression and passion in creating this project with me. They were very active and got to know each other even better”. She added that the seniors were always early for class, constantly asked one another for comments and shared a lot of laughter.
The programme also received compliments from Mr Steven Wong, Centre Manager of LB Bendemeer AAC. He observed that “Breathing Life” was very well-received by LB seniors, attributing this to its uniqueness and diversity. He said, “Unlike our usual programmes, this programme involves the artists and our seniors over a longer period of 4 months. During this period, they participated in a variety of sessions from indoor and outdoor activities to arts, crafting and performances. Hence, they became more interested in these sessions and remained very focused with the artists.”
As we age, it becomes increasingly critical to remain active, and “Breathing Life” demonstrated the importance of offering creative outlets for seniors, as well as the significant impact it can have on their zeal and quality of life. The programme certainly serves as a huge step in an exciting journey to discover and unlock the full potential of arts engagement with the seniors.
About Community Arts Engagement Programme
The Community Arts Engagement Programme is an initiative by the National Arts Council in collaboration with Lions Befrienders. It aims to engage seniors with the arts by empowering them to apply their own life experiences to the art-making process and encourage seniors to express themselves creatively, deepen family bonds and form new social connections through a series of interconnected arts activities.
Click here to watch the full video of this programme.
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