SongTrees ‘Young Artist Musical Ambassadors’ (YAMA) Programme

We are grateful to have received #NationalLottery funding for our Young Artist Musical Ambassadors, who will be creating lasting ‘Moving Memories’ for all generations within the community.


The Music Mind Spirit Trust’s YAMA (Young Artist Musical Ambassadors) Programme equips 11-25 year old musicians to perform in protected environments by developing their musical and interpersonal skills.

In this intergenerational mentorship project, the YAMAs (core group from the Royal Academy of Music) are trained by Nigel Osborne, Chika Robertson, Julian West, Live Music Now and other professional organisations to reinvigorate the lives of care home residents, staff and families through regular music sessions. Bespoke recorded music between sessions uses cutting edge digital technology through its ground-breaking partner organisation X-System Ltd to aid musical/scientific research and practice.

Collective MAPs (Musically Attuned Performances) are created via live community performances to create lasting ‘Moving Memories’.

Please click here to see the YAMA celebratory launch concert.

The Music Mind Spirit Trust incorporates uniquely designed programmes dedicated to enabling both young talented and experienced professional musicians to develop and refresh their musical gifts to enhance their creative potential.

For further information, please visit 

NEWS & EVENTS: Please note that places are limited for our new Dementia-friendly Café events, which will be held at The Milk Churn, Bookham and Harrison Farms, Rudgwick.  As sponsors of these special musical events, The Milk Churn will be offering their award-winning cheese-on-toast, tea and coffee for only £10 for 2 people. Carers, friends and families will be able to take a musical journey down Memory Lane in their delightful ‘Parlour’, which is wheelchair accessible. Places need to be booked in advance for catering purposes by emailing the Administrator at [email protected] or phoning 01403 824034. 

As part of MMST’s National Lottery Community Fund Award, we have been working collaboratively with BBC Music Day to help bring music to everyone in the UK living with dementia through the power of music to inspire, to bring us together and make a positive impact.

A series of intergenerational ‘Musically Attuned Performances’ (MAPs) was presented in London, West Sussex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Dorset throughout BBC Music Day Week between 23 September – 1 October (International Day of Older Persons) by our Young Artist Musical Ambassadors (YAMA).

As a Horsham Year of Culture 2019 musical event highlighting our exciting new partnership with Bookham & Harrison’s Milk Churn (The Guardian’s ‘Top 10 Places to Eat in the Country’), a special Moo-ving Memories event featured London’s popular singer-songwriter and YAMA Mentor Calista Kazuko and Young Artist Musical Ambassadors Natasha Hallett and Rama Suphadet on BBC Music Day. Members of the public, including those living with dementia, carers and family members, enjoyed specially selected bespoke live and personalised recorded music by X-System’s cutting-edge technology, comprising musical choices of the residents of Cranleigh’s Cedar Court Care Home.

MMST and the Royal Academy of Music presented a public workshop for the Young Artist Musical Ambassadors led by RAM’s Head of Open Academy and dementia specialist, Julian West, on 28 September. The young musicians are being trained to go into protected environments such as care homes and hospices.

On 29 September, Young Artist Musical Ambassadors and accompanist Elizabeth Dockrill-Tyler presented an interactive music session for residents and those living with dementia at Cedar Court Care Home in Cranleigh.

A memorable MMST Moving Memories dementia concert in Dorset with internationally acclaimed guitarist Samantha Muir and Young Professional YAMA Lara Taylor was performed on 24 September for residents, caregivers, families and friends at Eastbury House Residential Home in Sherborne.

To mark the end of the 2019 Music Week, a Moving Memories event by Young Artist Musical Ambassadors Elizabeth Nurse and Rebecca Sewell was held for the residents of Stonehill House and general public at the popular café ‘Tickety Brew’ in Haddenham for International Day for Older Persons on 1st October. Elizabeth is the 1st female Lay Clerk at Christ Church, Oxford University, and Rebecca will be performing a music and health programme at St Georges Hospital on 14 October.

The Music Mind Spirit Trust is extremely grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England, X-System Ltd and commercial sponsors Bookham & Harrison for their invaluable support and assistance in making the above events possible.

X-System predicts human responses to music, in particular enlivenment and mood, and creates playlists in any chosen repertoire to lead listeners gently and naturally from one state of mind and body to another of their choice. Selected MMST performances feature bespoke music playlists in favourite repertoires that are helping residents in care homes through the day (for example, getting going in the morning and supporting daily activities such as enjoying their mealtimes, exercising and preparing for sleep at night), thanks to Prof Nigel Osborne’s innovative work with the residents of Cedar Court, Cranleigh and Stonehill House, Haddenham.

On the international stage, BBC Music Week was also celebrated on 26th September at Corbin Senior Centre in Spokane, Washington (USA), via a new Trans-Atlantic dialogue between SongTrees Young Artist Musical Ambassadors (YAMAs) of the Music Mind Spirit Trust and Holy Names Music Centre, in partnership with Spokane Public Libraries.

To show their support for BBC Music Day, Young Artist Musical Amabassadors are raising awareness about dementia as they enrich people’s lives globally, irrespective of age or place, through their interviews, research and performances.

Example Programme from a SongTrees Summer School:

Day 1

10 am   meet for registration and coffee / tea / juice

10.30    physical / mental warm-ups for violinists, sight-reading and technique building session with Chika Robertson

11         tuition and rehearsal with resident accompanist, Sarah Pickering;

video and recording programme in Shelley’s Barn; plus

30 min. workshops in the Little Barn with professional eurhythmy practitioner Christina Sahin and

30 min. vocal workout classes in the New Residential Suite with vocal coach and performer Jenny Hansell.

1 pm      lunch

2           tuition and rehearsal with resident accompanist; instrumental individual / group sessions;

vocal workout classes plus song-writing with singer songwriter Calista Robertson and programme

research preparation sessions with Rebecca Constandine.

4           tea

4.15      solo Bach class by Paul Robertson in Shelley’s Barn

5.15      chamber / ensemble rehearsals and programme presentation session

6.15      swimming, art and recreation

7.00      dinner

8.00-9.30   Great Players’ Film Footage in Shelley’s Barn, followed by

private / group rehearsals, plus optional song-writing and art sessions.


Day 2

9.30 am breakfast

10           violin warm-ups, sight-reading and technique building session;

10.30      one-to-one sessions and coaching with resident accompanist; instrumental individual / group sessions; plus eurythmy  workshops and vocal workout classes.

11           break

11.15      one-to-one sessions and coaching with resident accompanist; instrumental individual / group sessions; eurhythmy workshops; vocal workout classes and song-writing sessions.

12.45      seating rehearsal / sound check

1 pm        lunch

2             solo Bach and free repertoire performance class with Paul and Chika Robertson

3.00        workshop by eminent musician and author Paul Harris (guests welcome)

3.30        break / concert preparation

3.45        teatime performance (guests welcome)

5.00        tea

5.30        special session with Roger Press, founder and CEO of

‘How New Technologies are Shaping Musical Careers Today’

6.00         close

Participants were able to contribute to special focus group sessions for the international music research project SongTrees with esteemed sociologist, Dr Lyudmila Nurse, during the course.