Prestatyn Town Council host Mind Music Sessions Weekly. The sessions are fun. You do not have to be a great singer. Open to everybody and their carers.
Refreshments are available.
Whether it’s 60s soul, operatic arias or songs from the shows, music can soothe, stimulate and bring to mind long-forgotten memories.
The power of music
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 communication cannot.
‘We tend to remain contactable as musical beings on some level right up to the very end of life,’ says Professor Paul Robertson, a concert violinist and academic who has made a study of music in dementia care.
‘We know that the auditory system of the brain is the first to fully function at 16 weeks, which means that you are musically receptive long before anything else. So it’s a case of first in, last out when it comes to a dementia-type breakdown of memory.’
Many music students throughout the UK, as well as more experienced musicians, now regard care home visits as part of their learning experience.
As well as being enormously beneficial to those with various forms of dementia and their carers, they can also be helpful and rewarding for the musicians themselves.
Like our good friend and supporter George who takes part whenever he can.
Paul Robertson recalls playing for a former church organist with advanced dementia. ‘She was very far gone, no language, no recognition. Someone started singing a hymn and this woman sat down at the piano, found the right key and accompanied the singer in perfect order.’
Cellist Claire Garabedian, who is studying the effects of live and recorded music on people with dementia at the University of Stirling, has also seen for herself the transformation of people who may appear to be in a vegetative state. ‘Even when someone can no longer talk,’ she says, ‘music becomes an avenue for communication and engagement.
It seems to access parts of the brain that remain unaffected by the ravages of dementia.’
Claire believes more could be done to harness music therapies for end-of-life palliative care. ‘This is a growing population and there is a real need now for non-pharmaceutical solutions.’
For more information contact Sue Edwards at Prestatyn Town Council Phone: 01745 857185