December 17, 2021
Photos & Words by: Bryan van der Beek
(Photo above) Mr David Tan Beng Swee, 69, one of the most vocal participants of the project looks forward every week to belting out his favourite tunes from his rental flat in Tampines.
Living alone without caregivers, but armed with a laptop and headset, eight seniors had the chance to sing their hearts out to old favourites in an eight-week programme, Sing Out Loud!, run by the Esplanade.
The programme has been run by arts facilitator Ms Angelina Choo since 2016 as part of the Esplanade’s community engagement initiatives. This year’s programme was held in partnership with social service agency Lions Befrienders with the support of Ming Yi Foundation to help socially isolated seniors who are at risk of depression and dementia.
Every week since September till their graduation on December 9, 2021, eight seniors who live alone in rental flats have been assisted by volunteers to participate via Zoom, while Ms Choo guides them through vocal training online.
At the final session of Sing Out Loud!, we had the chance to visit these seniors to find out what they love about these music sessions.
(Above) With the help of technology, both vocal training as well as lyrics and music are brought directly into the homes of these at risk seniors via Zoom.
(Above) Mdm Choo Kiak Kwong, 80, hardly sings at these gatherings, preferring to enjoy the music of her fellow participants. Having moved to Tampines from her familiar stomping ground in Toa Payoh, Mdm Choo enjoys the chance to interact with other participants during the Zoom sessions and occasionally hums along with the music. She is happy hearing some of the older tunes that are sung, quipping that she much prefers oldies to all the new music that she doesn’t understand.
(Above) Mdm Goh Buck Lang, 78, ends off her singing session with a smile and a lot of waving to her fellow participants and music coach Ms Angelina Choo. One of the eight senior participants of the Sing Out Loud! music programme, Mdm Goh enjoys the chance to interact with fellow seniors.