Those who experienced music in choral programs had less doctor visits and less falls, less prescriptions; were more connected socially and had a greater cognitive functioning.
– Joshua Vickery, CEO, Encore Creativity for Older Adults
Evidence shows that music can be a powerful tool for increasing older adults’ quality of life and health. By providing access to music education programs, we can help older adults stay active, engaged, and connected with the world around them.
Get ready to meet the man behind the music masterpieces for the gray generation! We’re excited to have Joshua Vickery, CEO of Encore Creativity for Older Adults, join us in this episode of This is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World. Joshua will take us on a tour of his organization’s amazing programs, providing older adults with a fresh zest for life through music, art, and movement.
Tune in to discover how Encore Creativity is helping older adults channel their inner rockstar!
Key points covered in this episode:
✔️Encore Choral: The Melodious Journey of a Lifelong Passion
Jeanne Kelly, the founder of Encore, was inspired by Dr. Gene Cohen’s research on the positive effects of arts participation on the health and well-being of older individuals. Dr. Cohen was the founding director of The George Washington University’s Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities, and his work lives on through Encore’s mission.
✔️Joshua Vickery Leading the Way for Senior Creatives
Encore Creativity sings the praises of CEO Joshua Vickery as the mastermind behind the nation’s most fabulous choral arts organization for older adults. Vickery’s strategic vision rests on bolstering partnerships, fundraising, planning, and expanding its operations nationwide. His target? Establishing Encore as the nation’s number-one thought leader on creative aging – he’s hitting all the right notes!
✔️Encore Creativity: The Power of Music in Later Life
Joshua Vickery shares how music can be a powerful force for connection, creativity, and joy—all essential components of a full life at any age. Through Encore’s supportive and nurturing environment, older adults develop meaningful relationships with one another while expressing their passion and joy through music.
Encore’s current programming includes:
- Encore Chorale
Encore Chorale offers a diverse choral experience for individuals aged 55 and older without the need for auditions. The ensemble rehearses for 15 weeks, culminating in a comedic performance. The repertoire includes American Songbook, classical, jazz, and Broadway tunes, all led by exceptional conductors for a high-quality musical experience.
- Encore Rocks
Encore Rocks is a choral ensemble that specializes in performing rock music from the 1960s to the present day. Accompanied by a rock band, the group maintains a contemporary aesthetic by wearing blue jeans and black shirts, exuding a modern and stylish vibe.
- Sentimental Journey Singers
Sentimental Journey Singers, a charming part of Encore Creativity for older adults, is a choral program designed for individuals experiencing early memory loss or cognitive changes. Alongside their care partners, participants are warmly invited to weekly rehearsals.
- Melody Makers
Encore recently initiated a pilot program, Melody Makers, in partnership with Goodwin House in Alexandria, Virginia. This program targets individuals in the mid-to-late stages of cognitive change, offering them a therapeutic music experience.
- Encore University
Encore University, an online learning platform, emerged in response to COVID. This program is adapted by utilizing technology to continue providing programs to singers. Now, the platform offers classes, workshops, and recitals, accessible live or through recordings and led by exceptional educators. The advantage of the University is its global reach, connecting with people worldwide, even if in-person programming hasn’t yet arrived in their area.
✔️The Future of Encore: Bigger, Better, Brighter
Encore can’t wait to grow in Wilmington, NC, this spring and bring our brain health programs to even more communities! They’re putting their heart into diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to truly represent the people we serve. Plus, they’re looking forward to using technology to connect virtually and become a go-to source for future talent, conductors, and tech companies.
✔️Sing With Us or Help Us
There are several enjoyable ways you can support Encore.
🎤 If you have a passion for singing, they’ll be thrilled to have you join as a singer.
🎤 If singing isn’t your forte, you can still lend a helping hand by volunteering with during concerts, distributing programs, collecting tickets, or assisting with office tasks.
🎤 Encore’s always grateful for financial backing. If you represent a corporation or foundation, consider sponsoring or providing a grant.
🎤 Individuals inspired by Encore’s mission can also make valuable contributions.
🎤 If you’d love an Encore program in your community, they’re eager to chat with you and explore the possibilities.
✔️Rise Up and Sing
Encore’s mission is to provide music education and performance opportunities to everyone regardless of age, race, gender, or ability. Everyone could agree that music is a powerful tool for personal growth, community-building, and creating joy on earth.
Help Encore bring music to everyone by donating your time, resources, and talents.
For further inquiries, visit Encore’s website at www.encorecreativity.org or engage with them on social media platforms:
If you have questions, or comments or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at email@example.com, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.
More Resources About Memory And Alzheimer’s Disease …
This Is Getting Old has several other episodes about memory and Alzheimer’s. You can check them out below:
- EP: 65 – What are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease? Part I: Symptoms of Early- and Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
- EP: 66 – What are the Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease? Part II: Symptoms of Late- and End-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
- EP: 64 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Living Alone: Four Signs Someone May Not Be Safe at Home Alone
- EP: 63 – Alzheimer’s Disease and Driving: Five Signs That It’s Time to Take the Keys
- EP 38: Ten Tips for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (‘96) and Master of Science in Nursing (‘00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I truly enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home and office visits) then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer.
I obtained my PhD in Nursing and a post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing (2011) ) and then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the faculty at George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor where I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health and Humanities.
Find out more about her work HERE.
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