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Artists / Britt Davis

Britt Davis
Music: Interactive Piano Performance


Britt studied piano technique and sight reading from age 7, continuing with two years of rigorous daily music theory study at the Clara Rice Thompson Studio of Piano Pedagogy in Texas.  Already sight-reading advanced classical and jazz music, he was employed by the Bud Winters Dixieland Five to play area clubs and dances, where he learned to read band chord sheets and developed the facility for playing improvisationally by ear.  He also developed muscle memory that permits transposing songs from one key to another to accommodate elders’ lower voice range.

These capabilities have supported the compilation of an encyclopedic, mostly early-20th-century collection of 371 song lyrics*, the accompaniments to be played from memory and ear without the need of written music scores.  Any song can therefore be requested and performed ad lib.  This facilitates use by singers at any level of mental functioning.  Later-20th-century songs appealing to early-onset Alzheimer’s friends’ brain-formative years have been added.  Currently serving 14 facilities twice-monthly and 6 others in low-income underserved areas supported by ARTreach, serving these diverse cultural populations has required making appropriate additions to the songbook and learning new accompaniments.  Britt’s mission is simply to “Bring joy!”

Through ten years in working with memory care singers, Britt has learned to deal easily and kindly with the behaviors that their caretakers face hour-to-hour.  This friendly familiarity combines with the familiarity of the music they are singing to create an aura of fellowship.

*The playlist (titles) of this compilation is currently in use as their “Preferred List” by permission by two U.S. neuroscience studies of the use of music to move emotions of elders and dementia patients.

Listen to Britt's Piano Performance

Memory Makers Singalongs

Benefits of this interactive performance program:

Instant magic – when people sing together, their brains make oxytocin, and that makes them feel trust, solidarity, and connectedness with the people around them.

As few as ten sessions of brain exercise can help lead to faster, clearer thinking for up to a decade.

Instant fun and mood/body rhythm affect is recaptured for all elders including those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinsonism and stroke-induced speech impairment. These conditions are often the cause of sudden or chronic social isolation.

Instant brain stimulation – more areas of the brain are stimulated simultaneously by singing than any other human activity.

Instant empowerment – access to a treasury of 371 carefully compiled lyrics printed in bold type restores the ability of people to participate socially – to perform again – as some have not been enabled to do for decades.

Lower functioning people know that they are “in” the fellowship when they are holding a songbook especially handed to them and hear music that does not condescend, but personally recognizes and welcomes them like only an old friend can do.

ARTreach is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides mentoring and art-related programs to a growing population of children at risk, children and adults with special needs, the elderly and others in need.