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Older adults playing instruments and smiling

LSO Connect

Group music activities for local older adults.

LSO Connect is a programme of activity with, by and for older Islington residents (aged 55+), offering opportunities for sharing stories and musical exploration in a positive, creative and kind environment.

Of 326 local authorities, Islington – our local borough – ranks eighth nationally for risk of loneliness amongst older adults. Research shows that participating in group music activities can decrease older adults’ loneliness and increase their wellbeing. Working in partnership with local organisations Help on Your Doorstep, St Luke’s Community Centre and Claremont Project, we bring older adults together to forge connections and make new music.

We involve artists from a range of artforms, disciplines and backgrounds and invite participants themselves to become artists, musicians, dancers and all-round creatives, regardless of musical background.  The local knowledge and experience of members is celebrated and shared, and participants forge close connections, remarking on their increased sense of togetherness, belonging and improved wellbeing.

[The project] has given me a spring in my step. [It] has helped me so much with my anxiety and depression.

Local resident

The LSO team have created such a safe and inclusive environment where residents feel truly supported to express themselves and their emotions through music. The experience has fostered deep-rooted connections between residents who would never usually interact with each other, thus demonstrating how music really can bring people together and bridge divides.

Gill Carter, Head of Business Operations and Community Development, Help On Your Doorstep

Previous Projects

Help On Your Doorstep Audio Collage

During a project with members of the Good Neighbours Scheme, the group were invited to bring music or special objects to regular sessions. These were used as prompts to share their stories, and to inspire music making. Guided by participants and collaborating on their ideas and contributions, the group produced new pieces which were recorded alongside a series of interviews, and an audio collage created by artist Jack Miguel to document the project.

Claremont Project: “Here We Are”

“Here We Are” is the culmination of a six-week project at the Claremont Project in Islington. Fifteen participants responded to the theme of ‘Sparks’, exploring how we capture the moments in life that spark something in us, through story-telling, personal narratives and memory. Sessions led by facilitator Rhia Parker and documentary film-maker Tim Travers-Hawkins, with musicians from the LSO, incorporated elements of music-making, poetry writing, visual art and the sharing of stories. Themes emerged such as the cyclical nature of life, and the knowledge that it’s never too late to keep making, doing and learning, providing rich and fertile creative ground.

“Here We Are” moves between recordings of songs and poems recorded during the workshops together, artwork inspired by poetry and stories from fellow participants, and short films of participants sharing the touching history behind objects that they cherish.

Get In Touch

To find out more about LSO Connect, please contact:

Natasha Krichefski Community Senior Projects Manager

LSO Connect is generously supported by City Bridge Trust.

Header image © Hannah J Taylor