Live Music Now (LMN) is a UK-wide charity changing lives through music. Each year, LMN delivers thousands of music workshops in hospitals, care homes, special schools and communities.
The lack of research into how music can benefit the whole care environment for elderly people and dementia patients spurred Live Music Now to create the Live Music in Care project. Funded by the Baring Foundation, among others, the national campaign and research initiative studied the impact of regular participative music sessions on the whole culture of a care home.
The project involved seven trained musicians delivering music programmes in five care homes over 10 or 11 weeks. The initiative aimed to empower residents and staff to use music as part of their daily routines and recorded the impact that had on their wellbeing.
The sessions involved 20 care staff and around 120 residents and revolved around music activities led by the musicians. Staff and residents participated in listening exercises, singing, percussion playing and improvisation, followed by post-session reflection. There was ongoing data collection through observations, interviews and questionnaires, supported by Winchester University and several academics.
The results of the initiative were presented in a report at the National Care Forum Annual Managers Conference last November. The charity found that a carefully delivered music programme can provide significant benefits and that staff reported an increased understanding of the link between music intervention and the wellbeing of the residents.
The research was one of the first projects to consider the impact on staff and the whole care setting, not only residents. The report included a list of recommendations that will not only inform LMN’s own programmes moving forward, but could also be introduced at care homes across the country.
Charity Awards judge Su Sayer said the project “gave energy to everyone involved, staff as well as volunteers” and Lynne Berry was impressed with the ambition to evolve the programme into a movement that could be adopted in care homes across the country.
CC reg no: 273596