Music In Mind Blog Post

24 Nov 2023 -- Posted by : RossE

Music in Mind Dementia Group web.jpg

Last week I was asked to attend and participate in one of our Music in Mind sessions, aimed at supporting people with dementia as well as their loved ones, so that I could better understand the sessions and communicate about them to the local community.

I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t know much about the sessions beforehand. The group had two facilitators from Manchester Camerata Orchestra who were great musicians, one supporting on the keyboard and the other on the flute.

The session started with a hello song with one of the facilitators going around the room singing hello by name to everyone. After this, every participant including their loved ones and carers were asked to pick an instrument from the colourful array of pieces available, tambourines, maracas, bells, small drums, wooden percussion instruments and so much more!

The songs started and progressed organically with the facilitators picking up on various beats from the participants and changing their songs/ instruments/ tone to suit and encourage interaction. The songs weren’t pre-planned at all and followed the lead of the participants and their beats, ranging from upbeat to more mellow songs. I experienced a lot of joy in the room during the hour, with songs played that were meaningful to different people for different reasons. Lots of smiles, hugs with loved ones and interaction. It was truly beautiful watching the session unfold and the joy in the room, in what for many experiencing dementia and caring for their loved ones seemed to be a moment of solace in what can be challenging times. There were emotional moments too where a song provoked a memory and hit a heart string, and the songs played so eloquently on the flute were truly breath-taking. There was even some singing, a few dance moves and a Beyonce hit thrown in there!

I thought the session was fantastic, my own grandad had dementia and there wasn’t this type of support or interactivity available when he was diagnosed, something which I’m sure he would have benefited from hugely. The whole experience was joyful and wonderful to watch transforming the Wellbeing Centre into a beautifully noisy corner of the Hospice, a place that many people might envisage to be a sad place, but at times like this is anything but.


Louise Henderson

Head of Marketing and Communications


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