Live Music Now Launches Songs and Scones – a Nationwide Project to Bring Communities Together with Harmony and Cream Tea! 

Tea, cake and rousing music-making are the main ingredients for Songs and Scones, Live Music Now’s flagship programme of monthly musical get togethers in local community spaces. These uplifting events have been running for over a decade, tackling loneliness and isolation by bringing together older members of the community for music, food and friendship. 

After two especially difficult years for older people Live Music Now is kicking off a major festive fundraising campaign to raise essential funds to expand the programme across the country. With funds raised, new Songs and Scones programmes will be run in partnership, with libraries and local community services to host a year-long series of monthly events designed to reach out to people who feel disconnected from their community, or lack opportunities for meaningful social interactions. Each Songs and Scones gathering centres around a concert, presented by a professional musician or musical group, packed with vibrant participatory performance pieces, rousing singalongs and classic tunes to suit all musical tastes. 

Launching its festive fundraising campaign, Live Music Now is hosting a series of livestreamed Song and Scones concerts to enable and encourage people to get together this December and raise vital funding for the project whilst enjoying performances from the charity’s professional musicians. With singing along actively encouraged! Members of the public are invited to join the festive fun by hosting their own tea parties and encouraging friends and family to donate whilst they enjoy the live music together over a scone and a cup of tea.  Fundraising packs are available from the Live Music Now’s website jam-packed with ideas for hosting home Songs and Scones events. A donation of just £24.96 could pay for isolated older person to join others in their community for an uplifting afternoon of live music, tea and conversation. Donations of any amount can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SongsAndScones

The first livestream will take place on 10th December featuring a jazzy Christmas vibe from Hopkins Oliver Duo, broadcast on Live Music Now’s YouTube channel. Further dates, details and musicians will be announced.  

The project will enable older people who live alone and face challenges such as loneliness or isolation, to come together, share musical encounters and build new friendships, all washed down with a slice of cake and a cup of tea. In addition to the benefits of participating in live music, the programme is intended to build new community networks, with music at their heart, to provide support, build resilience and help older people live independently for longer.  

Janet Fischer, CEO, Live Music Now says: “The pandemic has increased loneliness and isolation in manifold ways, with older people feeling the impact more than most. Live Music Now has always focused its work on those whose experiences of live music are limited and that’s why we are extending Song and Scones to underserved communities across the UK. 

“The real magic of Songs and Scones happens over tea and cake as the musicians chat with the people attending, learning about their musical loves and experiences, and sharing creative participation and inspiration with each other. They are happy, inclusive, life-enhancing events.” 

Douglas Noble, Strategic Director of Wellbeing at Live Music Now adds: “Music plays a primal and important role in our lives. It is the universal language we can all speak. It makes us feel safe, happy and connected. Whether it’s a nursery rhyme on a parent’s knee, or belting out Sweet Caroline on the terraces, this shared musical language bonds us. That’s what’s brilliant about Songs and Scones events as a musical connector for friendship and community.” 

Live Music Now connects the power of music and professional musicians with older people living with dementia, children and young people facing disabling barriers and families in need of support as well as their carers and key workers. Through interactive performances Live Music Now’s world-class musicians inspire and support people to live fulfilling musical lives, to find happiness and creativity in life-affirming memories and liberating new encounters. Live Music Now’s work enhances health and well-being, builds confidence and equity and recognises the potential of every individual. The charity was founded by world renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin and philanthropist Ian Stoutzker. Songs and Scones was first developed as a long-term programme in Amotherby in North Yorkshire almost 10 years ago. This new national launch will ensure that the benefits and community spirit of Songs and Scones can be expanded and shared nationwide.