Creating opportunities to connect with yourself and others through music making.
Music for people living with dementia and their carers
I facilitate creative music-making groups specifically for people in the early and late stages of dementia, both in community settings and in specialised acute hospital wards. My work in care homes also brings me into frequent contact with people living with dementia.
I have seen first-hand the profound effect live music has on people with dementia. Singing familiar songs ignites a light in the brain that then opens a window into the life the person has lived and memories that have laid dormant since the illness took hold. This then produces a springboard for communication and a conversation between myself and the person or between the person and their loved one. A conversation that may not happen had it not been for taking part in the musical activity.
Much of my work in the community with people living with dementia has been as Lead Facilitator on a project called Sing Healthy Play Happy, which was founded by Brighton based organisation Open Strings Music.
The Open Strings Music team have created this fantastic program of music-making specifically designed and developed to meet and stimulate the cognitive and social needs and wants of people with dementia and their carers. Get in touch with the Open Strings Music team to find out more about the music making opportunities they offer.
In a 'Sing Healthy Play Happy' music session...
A variety of creative methods for connection are used including creative improvisation using voices, body percussion and a selection of pitched and un-pitched instruments, such as hand drums, ukeleles, chime bars, violins, shakers, and ipads. During these community sessions, the carers are present and the relaxing effect of music-making can have just as powerful impact on them. Making music together, and learning techniques to use at home together, can strengthen bonds between them and allow for an emotional connection with each other.
“It’s like a little
light in my day:
I really look forward to coming."
W - Sing Healthy Play
“The power of music,
especially singing, to unlock memories and kickstart the grey matter is an increasingly key feature of dementia care. It seems to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of