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When words fail, music speaks

Music plays a fundamental role in our identity and is a powerful medium which can affect us all deeply.  Since the earliest days of humankind, music and the power of music, has been evident to us. Dating back to the 1800’s, a new profession entered the arena to provide what we know today as music therapy.

 

Music therapy is the use of music to address the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of an individual. It involves treatment therapy through varies activities such as listening to music, writing songs, playing an instrument, and singing. With far-reaching benefits and in a variety of settings, the types and methods of music therapy have had a profound impact on people throughout the years.

 

Simply put, music is an incredibly powerful tool and can be used to improve your life and overall wellbeing. Whether you need help socially, cognitively, physically or emotionally, music can work to improve people’s mood and outlook on society. What’s more interesting though is why it works. Music and memory are powerfully connected. Music evokes emotional and nostalgic memories and emotions from people’s past and has been proven to have many benefits for everybody, but particularly people with dementia.

 

Leading research has shown that music therapy can significantly improve and support the mood, alertness and engagement of people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. This, in turn, can reduce the use of medication, as well as it helps to manage and reduce psychological symptoms such as agitation, aggression, isolation, depression and anxiety in people with dementia, overall supporting a better quality of life.

 

While music and music therapy does not cure dementia or Alzheimer’s, it has been proven to have many beneficial effects on both dementia sufferers and their families, or carers. Often, Alzheimer’s and dementia takes away sufferers’ ability to form sentences and conversation that would’ve been possible in the earlier stages of the disease. Music, therefore, offers a unique and important way to communicate with loved ones through this emotional tool.

 

The Dementia Choir

 

Tonight, on BBC One, Line of Duty and This Is England star Vicky McClure stars in a two-part documentary called ‘The Dementia Choir’

 

This documentary explores the relationship between dementia and music as Vicky McClure aims to create a choir of 17 dementia sufferers aged between 31- 87 who will rehearse together to put on one unforgettable performance to help understand the science behind how music can reawaken dementia-affected brains and help them benefit from music.

 

Tune into the first episode tonight on BBC One at 8-9pm. Follow this link to watch: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004pyb and use #OurDementiaChoir to join the conversation.

 

 

To find out more about Glasgow Memory Clinic and what we do, click here.

Posted 2nd May 2019

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