Paternoster House residents show off their musical talent

RESIDENTS at a care home in Cirencester have been showing off their musical talent. 

Activities coordinators from 13 care homes run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) learned how to use music as part of their day-to-day care.

Two online sessions focused on helping participants who work in care homes to understand the potential of music to engage older people.

It also focused on ways to ensure that care home residents are benefitting from music and how to design a session to encourage increased interaction.

Sharon Dewsbury, activities coordinator at Paternoster House, is among those to have undergone training from Live Music Now. 

Since the training, Sharon has distributed musical and percussion instruments to residents to join in music-making while listening to a singer or their regular pianist.

Now more residents, including those with dementia, are joining in with the music and express themselves.

One resident revealed a hidden talent, when she took to playing the piano.

Now she regularly plays alongside the pianist who comes three times a week to the home to perform for residents.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Music facilitator Yvette Jaquiss with resident Brenda Roper at Paternoster HouseMusic facilitator Yvette Jaquiss with resident Brenda Roper at Paternoster House

Sharon said: “The training was great and now residents are using musical instruments more often. At Paternoster House we have several music and singing events each month. 

“It’s clear through their interactions that residents enjoy music, and their participation often leads to reminiscence conversations where we get to learn more about their memories, preferences and feelings.”

This training is part of Live Music Now’s Live Music In Care programme.

Helen Bayliss, OSJCT regional director for Gloucestershire, said: “The partnership with Live Music Now is fantastic for our homes and our residents.”

“The training, live and online concerts and resources have given our activities coordinators a professional approach to organising music as a meaningful activity. 

“This can be especially important for residents with dementia who may have limited ways of communication and expression, but where music can be an accessible channel for them to connect in many ways, with their fellow residents, care teams and their own thoughts and memories.”

The partnership will continue with forthcoming music residencies at Paternoster House.

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