People with dementia hitting the right note at Musicality event in Perth

People living with dementia were singing out and celebrating through music at an event in Perth last Monday.

People living with dementia were singing out and celebrating through music at an event in Perth last Monday.

The Musicality for Dementia programme focuses on the benefits of singing and exploring creativity through music as a fun and enjoyable activity.

Singing coach and composer Debra Salem has been working with the group during the eight-week programme and encouraged participants to develop their singing voices through a number of different songs and rhythm exercises. The group were also given the opportunity to take up playing the ukulele.

Last week, participants from across Perth & Kinross performed their repertoire of songs for friends and family at the Perth Concert Hall.

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Debra said, “Over the weeks I have introduced a variety of different songs, with a mix of old and new and the group decided what they wanted to work on. I have been so delighted by their enthusiasm.

“Learning the ukulele has been a fun addition and people have responded very positively, even though some had never played a musical instrument before.”

The initiative is run by Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) in association with NHS Tayside and Creative Scotland. Horsecross Arts Perth has also provided support for the programme.

Karine Neill, development officer with THAT, said, “Music and singing can be very beneficial for people with long term health conditions and this project has been supported by a wide range of care home staff and family members which has been really valuable.

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“This group have valued the opportunity to come together and see music and singing as an important and very enjoyable way to provide positive health benefits.”

THAT promotes the therapeutic value of arts-based programmes to enhance quality of life, to promote social inclusion and to empower the individual to make an important contribution to their health and well being.

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