Soul music program provides fresh hope

Music program gives 'Fresh Hope' to dementia patients

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MAKING TRACKS: Aged care residents take part in a music therapy program aimed at helping people with dementia.

MAKING TRACKS: Aged care residents take part in a music therapy program aimed at helping people with dementia.

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'Fresh Hope' for people with dementia with launch of new pilot program

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Residents in a Western Sydney aged care facility are taking part in an interactive pilot program that will see them use technology to make and play music for dementia research.

As part of the 12-month project, Western Sydney University students will teach residents at Fresh Hope Care’s Ashwood facility in Pendle Hill to play a musical instrument.

They are using technology and equipment provided by music therapy organisation I’m Soul Inc.

The organisation’s founder and chief executive Michelle Lee established the program from her Singapore base.

“Our enabling music programs are designed to help anyone to make music, with no previous experience required,” she said.

“There are no limits to age or ability. Making music is like a full mind-body-soul workout.You forget what you ‘can’t do’. It rewires the brain.”

Michelle said making music can also benefit those with physical and learning abilities, as well as people with Alzheimer’s and hearing and visual impairments.

”Many of them cannot make music the conventional way – they cannot hold an instrument or read the notes,” she said. 

“We enable and include them to make music through technology and our programs.”

Western Sydney University received funding from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services to look at interactive music making in aged care.

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