How to be old—we're all learning

Threshold choirs: voluntary singing to people in palliative care

Are you looking for an extra activity and a way of quietly helping others (otherwise known as volunteering)? If you’re already singing in a choir and free to attend weekly rehearsals, you’re eligible to join a Threshold choir. There may be one in your area. Their voluntary work consists of singing quiet, appropriate songs, on request, to people who are in palliative care, perhaps close to death.

The style, protocol and choice of music are carefully calibrated and by now, well proven as a way to comfort people near the end of their lives. Music heals.

This dedicated voluntary work is particularly suitable for seniors and retirees, as events (known as “sings”, I believe) are likely to take place on weekdays.

On retirement from a regular full-time job, many are naturally attracted to some kind of volunteering. We look for unpaid work that suits us personally, one that will provide an alternative structure and an extra zing to our week. I see my friends engaging in activities that are just right for them personally, suiting their talents and interests and schedule.

The Threshold Choir (a worldwide organisation) was a new concept to me. There’s room for many more in the world! Is that going to be your thing?