Warwick-based music charity Armonico Consort has been 'bringing the joy of singing and music' to people in their own homes during lockdown.

The charity's online lockdown endeavours have included the following:

Via YouTube, the over-60s and those isolating have been taking part in free daily singalongs with one of Armonico Consort’s professional choir leaders, Simon Lole. Singing has been medically proven to lift spirits and improve mental health, and the organisation has been filming singing sessions for the benefit of people in care homes, sheltered housing and retirement villages in the area including Austin Heath in Warwick...

Music has also been shown to benefit those with dementia. Armonico Consort is working with groups connected with the Alzheimer’s Society on a unique and bespoke programme of music therapy sessions for dementia sufferers...

Armonico Consort’s singing education programme, AC Academy, works with schools and music hubs, including Coventry Music, Solihull Music Service and Severn Arts, to promote singing in schools. On 3 June, 2,500 children from across the UK, including Coventry & Warwickshire, were due to take part in a gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Sadly, due to Covid-19, the concert couldn’t go ahead, so a ‘virtual’ concert was created instead, allowing those who were due to participate to sing along at home...

Since lockdown, Armonico Consort has also been running free Sing’n'Shine sessions online, ideal for children aged eight and older to enjoy at home via Facebook Live every Wednesday at 2pm...

Meanwhile, members of AC Academy’s after-school choirs, based in Warwick, Coventry and Solihull, have been accessing online singing & coaching sessions via Facebook, Zoom and Skype, while its Voice Squad workplace choirs, including Coventry City Council, have also been continuing their weekly sessions via Zoom...

Artistic Director Christopher Monks has been busy himself too, hosting an online series titled A Crafty Beer With, in which has interviewed world-class artists in a series of early-evening Q&A interviews on Facebook...

Commenting on Armonico's activity during lockdown, Christopher said: “Coronavirus stopped us and everyone in their tracks, but we’ve worked intensively and swiftly to re-invent ourselves in order to deliver virtual sessions for those we already work with, create and deliver new and exciting online projects to support those in society most affected by isolation, and give vital work to our professional musicians who have seen their livelihoods collapse as a result of the crisis.

"Our musicians have been performing and recording and, thanks to sponsors, the next chapter will shortly begin with socially distant, live recorded concerts in outdoor settings.”

All the existing sessions are free to view via Armonico Consort on YouTube (Armonico Consort) and Facebook (ArmonicoConsort) . Sing’n'Shine children’s sessions continue every Wednesday at 2pm on Facebook Live. For details, visit armonico.org.uk