Based in Edenderry, County Offaly, Acoustic Hearts was set up to help people over 65, and men in particular, access music and singing. Plugging a gap in the area, the group has found that playing music is a valuable tool to help with mental health issues and has grown steadily in both membership and ambition. 

“Some people are hesitant and prefer to sit and listen while others sing as if nobody is listening!” says group facilitator Angela Ward. “Conversation is initiated and laughter much embraced. We firmly believe that, given the right encouragement, the majority of people will sing or take part in a singing activity. We encourage them to play their instrument or indeed learn a new one. Barriers are let down, and everyone can relax and slowly build up their confidence.”

“I’ll always be grateful for the way you encouraged me to sing again post-stroke. I had recovered very well but seemed to be withdrawing into myself. And then that first day you looked at me and said ‘Well Jim, what can you sing?’ I didn’t know anyone in the room but I started to sing and what a feeling I got!” - Jim, 70 years old

“Thank you for giving me the motivation to deal with feeling down, like I have been experiencing lately.” - Sean, 83 years old

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