Patients with dementia enjoy creative music making sessions funded through Heads On Charitable Funds

Heads On are delighted to have enabled a series of music making workshops across Sussex for patients with dementia through charitable funds. These sessions have been delivered on our wards in confunction with the music charity, Rhythmix.

Rhythmix is deliberately different to other musical activities that have been previously delivered on the wards in as much as it is purposefully interactive and allows for improvised engagement. Skilled musicians from the charity are able to effectively and appropriately support our patients, helping them connect with the music and others around them despite their often high levels of confusion, disorientation and distress.

During the sessions the musicians use their voices, acoustic instruments like cellos and guitars, hand held percussion and iPads with accessible music apps to create music interactions with people. They also encourage new musical experiences and creative improvisation, such as supporting someone to play the cello for the first time, improvising pentatonic scales on the iPad or writing their first ever lyrics. Participation of all levels is celebrated and supported.

We're thrilled by the success of these sessions. Either spontaneously or with encouragement, many patients who have engaged in the sessions have used their body to express themselves in some way – dancing, clapping, swaying – promoting physical exercise that has positive health benefits.

"I'll never forget our time - it was amazing. "

"Thank you so much for that, I always really enjoy it when you're here."

One of the very last things people with dementia have a response to is music, and it is often a way to ‘unlock’ the person within. The patients we care for are people who have lived full and rich lives. The music making sessions tap into their passions, their memories, their personalities; at a time of crisis, when people are struggling to cope with their dementia and can be distressed by the transition to hospital. This project has made such a difference to the people we care for.

 

How you can help

Whether you make a donation, attend an event or fundraise for us, every penny will help make life better for people with mental health problems.