Music in Day Programs and Long Term Care
Sing Alongs: Music is good medicine for people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and especially for those in the later stages of the disease. When the spoken word may no longer be accessible to them, they can often sing every word to a song from their youth. Some that can no longer feed themselves, are still able to beat out a steady rhythm. For these reasons, music is an effective tool in which to engage and empower, perhaps it is the best communicator of all (after hand holding, of course!)
“Music is part of being human.…. it’s very ubiquity may cause it to be trivialized in daily life; we hum a tune, tap our feet, find the words of an old song going through our minds, and think nothing of it. But to those who are lost in dementia, the situation is different. Music is no luxury to them, but a necessity, and can have a power beyond anything else to restore them to themselves, and to others, at least for a while.” ~Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia
Musical Room Visits: Sometimes it is challenging to provide programming for all residents. This is a way to reach those that are reluctant to leave their rooms. I visit residents privately and share a song or two.
Songwriting: Brainstorming in a group to come up with song ideas can bring out some amazing stories! Nothing is better than digging out a story from the past and creating a song from that. A lovely legacy for family members too!
I was very privileged to be a part of this wonderful art program at McCormick Dementia Services in London, Ontario. We have now continued to do songwriting via Zoom!
Music in Hospital and Hospice
The power of music is understood universally to have a number of therapeutic effects. Music at the bedside is very effective for those in hospital or in the late stages of terminal illness. My practicum with the Music For Healing and Transition Program at Hospice of London, Ontario and the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario in London prepared me for many situations including playing for patients in oncology and the dying. I have provided music to patient’s at the Woodstock General Hospital and at Sakura House, a residential hospice in Woodstock, Ontario.
What Is A Certified Music Practitioner?
A Certified Music Practitioner* is a graduate of the Music For Healing and Transition Program (MHTP).
Graduates of this program are musicians who are trained to deliver live therapeutic music to the sick and dying. The music I provide is considered to be a service, rather than entertainment. In our studies we learn how to create an environment that promotes emotional and physical healing and peace. The nature of the music is patient centered, often improvisational and intuitive.
*Certified Music Practitioners are not Music Therapists
Are you a musician interested in becoming a therapeutic musician?
Visit www.mhtp.org for more information on this training.
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