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Turtle Song @ Liverpool

Turtle Song is songwriting project for people living with dementia. It encourages artistic and social interaction, a positive outlook through an enjoyable and shared activity, and gives the brain and body a bit of stimulating exercise.  

Turtle Song is for people living with memory problems and all forms of dementia as well as their companions.

Since the first Turtle Song at the Royal College of Music, London in 2008 it has been introduced in Cambridge, Wolverhampton, Dulwich, Hackney, Suffolk, Oxford, Stockton-on-Tees, Leeds, Norwich, Croydon, York, Reading, Newbury, Bishop Auckland.  Turtle Song is an English Touring Opera, Royal College of Music and Turtle Key Arts collaboration.

Turtle Song @ Liverpool

February - April 2022 



Over a period of 8 weeks, our team and a group of undergraduate students from the Department of Music of the University of Liverpool will meet a group of people living with dementia and their caregivers weekly to write lyrics and music together. 

7 February - 1 April 2022 
10.00 - 12.30
(every Friday; participants only)

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral 


Final sharing

The original songs composed during the 8 week period will be performed in a final sharing/performance. An incredible opportunity to listen new music loaded with memories of Liverpool. An album will also be released by Merciful Sound.

4 April 2022
11.30 - 12.00
(by invitation only)

Tung Auditorium
Yoko Ono Lennon Centre
University of Liverpool



A workshop to talk about Turtle Song @ Liverpool and the role music-based interventions for people living with dementia and their caregiver. We will have a series of short talks and an open discussion with organizers, participants and the audience.

4 April 2022
14.00 - 16.30
(details below)

Tung Auditorium
Yoko Ono Lennon Centre
University of Liverpool


In the afternoon of April 4th, we are organizing a workshop to discuss current research on composition based activities for people living with dementia (and community-based music interventions for wellbeing more generally). The workshop consists of a series of short presentations followed by a panel discussion (with public participation). 

Tung Auditorium (Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, University of Liverpool). 
4 April 2022, 14.00 - 16.30

If you want to participate, email Mickey Bryan (michael.bryan@liverpool.ac.uk) or click below.

14.00 - 14.05

Welcome and introduction

Eduardo Coutinho
Senior Lecturer in Music Psychology
Director of AM Lab (University of Liverpool)

14.05 - 14.15

The Turtle Song project 

Charlotte Cunningham
Artistic Director (Turtle Key Arts)

14.15 - 14.30

Turtle Song @ Liverpool: reflections

Pip Bryan
Project Lead (Turtle Key Arts)

14.30 - 14.45

Composing with people living with dementia

Mickey Bryan
Composer (Turtle Key Arts)
Ph.D. candidate at AM Lab (University of Liverpool)

14.45 - 15.00

The psychological benefits of creativity in dementia

Sarah Butchard
Consultant Clinical Psychologist (Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust)
Senior University Clinical Tutor (University of Liverpool)

15.00 - 15.15

The benefits of art-based initiatives for caregivers

Warren Donnellan
Lecturer in Psychology (University of Liverpool)

15.15 - 15.30


15 minutes

15.30 - 16.30

Panel discussion

A conversation (with audience participation) about the Turtle Song project, the experience of participants and facilitators, current research on composition-based activities for people living with dementia, and the place for this type of intervention in Dementia Care.

Turtle Song @ Liverpool 
is a collaboration between

  • Turtle Key Arts
  • The Headley Trust
  • Applied Music Research Lab (University of Liverpool)
  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (University of Liverpool)
  • Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
  • English Touring Opera
  • Royal College of Music London

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