Chorus Voices Ep 54: Forget me not

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Bill with Chorus Voices Judith and his ESL language student's at Chorus Bull Creek

Bill with Chorus Voices’ Judith and his ESL language students putting the words ‘tall” and “short” into practice

 

Retired teacher Bill uses language and music to bring people together.

“On any day there are 20 different things that I could do, but I look forward to coming in and helping with Chorus because it’s a delight,” says Bill with a smile.

Bill, 78, is a retired teacher of 36 years and now volunteers with Chorus. He teaches English as a Second Language at the Chorus Bull Creek Activity Centre.

Some of the students have lived in Australia for 20 years or more and speak very little English. Bill explores innovative teaching methods.

“I pursue everything that works and I step back from things that don’t work,” he adds.

Bill starts the lesson by looking at the front page of the West Australian and uses words like ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ to describe the photo of the Megan and Harry interview from the previous night.

Bill also runs the Memory Café for people living with dementia.

“People with dementia tend to be like people with no English,” says Bill. “They’re there, but no one sees them, no one knows them, they’re isolated.”

Dan maintains that social relationships and engaging in conversation can lessen the effects of dementia.

We reflect on episodes from the back catalogue where Louise had explored some of these themes in a two-part series on dementia and three-part series on loneliness.

Louise, Blanch and Sarah from the Dementia episode of Chorus Voices

Chorus Voices’ Louise with Blanch and Sarah from the episode of Chorus Voices discussing dementia

“It’s not an us and them or those with Dementia and without, it’s part of living,” recalls Lou of her interview with Sarah and Blanche.

“Social connection, connections to others and if we haven’t got that, loneliness plays such a big part on our mental wellbeing, whether we’ve got dementia or not,” says Lou.

Lou is leaving Chorus and for now, we will be taking a break from Chorus Voices.

“We’ve dipped back into their back catalogue which has just reminded us and reminded me, Louise, of the ground that we’ve covered, the conversations we’ve had,” says Dan.

“I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge you as not just the co-host of Chorus Voices, but for the leadership and the contribution you’ve made to the establishment of this organisation, Chorus. We’ve seen that through the lens of Chorus Voices today.”

So that’s a wrap – for now! This is our special 54th episode – please enjoy it and see you when we’re back from our break.

 

Credits

Podcast Hosts: Dan Minchin and Louise Forster

Opening Voiceover: Ryan Burke

Opening Music: “Wattlebird” by Dylan Hatton Music

Interviewees: Bill Green and Andy Lau

Producer/Editor: Judith Hatton

Executive Producer: Meaghan Ferries

Audio editing: Matthew Clark

Artwork: Maddie Bull

Thanks to: The students at Bull Creek Activity Centre

Mentioned in this episode:

Chorus Voices Ep 28: Loneliness part 1: What is loneliness?

Chorus Voices Ep 29: Loneliness part 2: Why do we feel lonely?

Chorus Voices Ep 30: Loneliness part 3: What can we do about loneliness?

Chorus Voices Ep 38: Dementia journey part 1: Finding joy

Chorus Voices Ep 39: Dementia journey part 2: Tea with Sarah and Blanche

Chorus Voices Ep 24: A very merry unbirthday to you

Chorus Voices Ep 47: A very merry unbirthday: Two more candles

Bull Creek Lions Club