Stories from Sheet Music

Sheet music was a bestselling product at M&S during the 1910s, at a time when gathering round the piano was a popular form of entertainment for many people. The Archive holds a significant collection of sheet music, from folk songs and Christmas carols to hymns and music for dancing.

Music can benefit older people and those living with dementia by reducing anxiety, lifting mood and helping to maintain speech and language. In partnership with the Leeds International Piano Competition we worked with a group of people who attend Leeds Complex Needs Day Centres. The group listened to recordings of the sheet music and created artwork and written pieces inspired by the music.

We created a free resource pack and made recordings of music held in the archive to help other groups explore our collection of sheet music. Here’s a short film about the project.