What is Music in Mind?
Music in Mind began in 2012 and is delivered by musicians from the orchestra alongside a Music Therapist. Sessions are based on making up (‘improvising’) music rather than performing it and are specially designed to give people with dementia the chance to communicate and interact with others through the music itself. It’s particularly good for people with limited verbal skills.
Because the music is improvised, or made up, on the spot, the sessions are flexible and allow anyone to join in, as well as giving the participants enough space and time to respond to the music in the actual moment.
Participants are encouraged to make their own decisions by choosing which instruments to play, when and how to play them, and see – and hear! – how their music relates to the rest of the group.
The good thing is, there’s no pressure or even expectation to ‘do the right thing’ in these Music in Mind sessions, and that’s for both for participants and care staff! Sessions are relaxed, interactive and creative, and aim to develop and improve relationships between all participants: carers, residents, relatives and facilitators. The lack of pressure to do it ‘right’ also helps against feelings of being left out, or not ‘being good enough’, for everyone involved.
It is important to remember that every Music in Mind session is different. From week to week and care home to care home each session will have a different feel and appearance, but the basic set up remains the same. Our training videos are set up to resemble a ‘typical’ Music in Mind’ session, but in order to reflect the variety and different approaches to this type of project, we aim to include real life examples as the Music in Mind Remote website develops.