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London care home community records music album

The Highgate Care Home in North London has recorded an album called Reflections.

It is thought to be the first album of its kind recorded entirely by a care home community. 

Reflections is a collection of 12 original songs written and recorded over the summer of 2023, and it features more than 100 residents, carers, relatives and friends.

The project was overseen by music therapist Phil Evans, who says the album is more than just a collection of songs.

“It has become a place where our residents’ memories and experiences can be stored and revisited, rather than left to fade away,” he says. “It has brought the whole community of the care home closer together. The roles of who is caring and who is cared for become less important. Instead, we’re just a group of people creating, singing, laughing, crying, together. And through it, I hope we have come out understanding each other a little better; that is ultimately what I hope the legacy of this album will be.”

Phil Evans

The songs reflect many lifetimes of experiences and wisdom; memories, regrets, lessons to pass on and insights on life in a care home. Some are deeply poignant, others very funny. From opera to reggae, swing to soul, Irish drinking song to Jewish-inspired ballad; the huge variety of musical genres mirror the incredible diversity of backgrounds, and musical tastes at the care home. 

NAPA, the UK’s body overseeing Arts in Care Homes described the project as truly wonderful, inspiring and moving.

One of the singers on the album is The Highgate resident Phyllis Levy (above top, centre) who turned 90 earlier this year. She wrote the lyrics to Sing Together, a song exploring the real meaning of ‘care’. 

“Who’d have thought at the age of 90 I’d write my first song,” say says. “This project has given me new life. And it’s kept me up in the middle of the night for hours thinking of words! It brings us together. It’s magical. I’m so proud of everyone for what we have achieved.”

Reflections is available on Apple Music and other streaming services.


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