Place of work / study:
Music for Dementia Programme
Area of Research:
How is your work funded?
Private Family Charitable Trust
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a musician, music therapist, and Programme Director for the Music for Dementia 2020 campaign. I am passionate in advocating for music to be an integral part of dementia care. As a music therapist, I have worked in educational, health and social care settings, working with both children and adults with a range of needs, including mental health, profound and multiple learning disabilities, and autism. Pre-Covid, I regularly played contrabassoon and bassoon with orchestras across London.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I love swimming with sharks.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Because I saw, heard and felt the transformational power music has to help improve the quality of life for people living with dementia at the beginning of my music therapy career. I watched as a music therapist brought four isolated and disconnected people together into a group where they could use music as a way of communicating and connecting with each other.
As there is no pharmacological answer to dementia, I feel strongly that we have a moral, societal and human obligation to support people living with dementia, and their carers, to have a quality of life that enables them to be able to be connected, maintains their sense of self, puts them in touch with their worlds around them, and enables them to express themselves creatively and beyond the need for words.
When we have such a powerful tool at our fingertips, and we know the difference it can make, why would we not want to make it readily available and accessible for people living with dementia?