What I Do

Jo Sparks Music Activity and Arts & Crafts sessions for Care Homes, Day Centres, Nursing Homes and Social Groups in York, Selby, Pocklington, Goole and surrounding areas


Music, gentle exercise and Arts & Crafts are tailored to the needs of older people and those affected by dementia





Proven Benefits


  • Promotion of wellbeing
  • A means of expression for those with communication difficulties
  • Connection with other group members - reducing isolation
  • Increasing confidence and self-esteem
  • Fun and stimukation
  • Physical exercise
  • Sessions are active, not passive - giving the opportunity to express individuality


Real leaves but we made the paper flowers!






An increasing body of research demonstrates that older people who participate in shared music and similar activities are happier and more contented. It also shows that adding gentle exercise to music can improve balance, reduce falls and help people to cope with dementia.


My sessions combine live and recorded music, singing, rhythm, gentle exercise and seated dance. I add a big dollop of fun and that vital element to feeling good, laughter. Everyone joins in, residents, staff and visiting relatives. It's not just about sitting back and listening to an entertainer, it's about being actively involved.


I aim to bring people out of their shells and to provide opportunity to feel connected with those around them. Someone who has lost the ability to talk may feel quite isolated but when they join in the singing with others around them they become part of the group.


The transformation from someone sitting twiddling their cardigan buttons and staring at their lap to that same individual laughing as they sway with others using our large elastic band or throwing a foam ball around the group and enthusiastically joining in with the singing is magical. It's why I do it. I watch people come alive.




No two sessions are ever the same. Each is developed to reflect the expressed wishes of the group and to ensure that everyone can join in regardless of their physical needs, mobility, memory and/or cognitive impairment. Nevertheless an example of a typical music and movement session is shown below:

  1. Warm up/icebreaker activity - eg passing, throwing and catching a soft ball or my (now infamous!) felt hat
  2. Gentle seated movement such as clapping, toe tapping and simple steps to music
  3. Seated dance with props such as an elastic band (circle dancing), rhythm sticks, silk scarves and toe tappers
  4. Favourite songs (live and recorded) accompanied by percussion instuments and other props
  5. An activity to close the session such as using a giant parachute or more gentle activity such as blowing bubbles and sharing a favorite piece of music


Arts & Crafts Sessions


I have introduced these in response to numerous requests from clients who knew of my personal interest in this activity.


The projects are designed to keep fingers and hands moving, provide a sense of purpose and help the mind stay lively. They also reflect the abilities of the individuals within the group. I try to ensure that everyone can participate and wherever possible adapt the projects to accommodate individual needs.


The projects are simple but not childish. We make things that are useful as well as attractive and enjoy a chat and a laugh whilst doing so.


Emphasis is placed on freedom to express creativity and enjoying the session. Creation of a masterpiece is not essential!


Recent projects have included:

  • Pottery (which I had fired for the residents)
  • Paper flowers
  • Painting and decorating bird houses
  • Tortoise trinket pots
  • Chalk boards
  • Drinks coasters, and
  • Pop-up cards.

For seasonal celebrations we've also made:

  • Halloween lanterns
  • Christmas decorations
  • Advent calenders
  • Christmas crackers (complete with snap and corny joke!), and
  • Easter baskets




I hold public liability insurance. I am not affiliated to any franchise or large organisation so I'm affordable and you know exactly who you are going to get!

Engaging, interactive and stimulating, these sessions get people laughing, talking, singing and moving.


Jo Sparks Music Activity and Arts & Crafts sessions for Care Homes, Day Centres, Nursing Homes and Social Groups in York, Selby, Pocklington, Goole and surrounding areas


E-mail: jo-sparks@btconnect.com Tel: 01757 289295

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