East Horsley has its own Dementia Music Therapy Group – for those living with dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. This is a local success story.
The music therapy group, called ‘Music Memories’, was set up on the back of fundraising by Joe Dimmock and Sian Lewis from the Duke of Wellington, who cycled from London to Paris in 2022 and raised £16,000. Led by a specialist music therapist - Val Marciano - the group emphasises ‘therapy’ in a structured way – including singing and a range of other activities. The group meets weekly with those attending accompanied by a carer, friend or neighbour.
The power of music therapy is undeniable. Scientific research shows that music stimulates many different parts of the brain. For people with dementia, music can change mood and reduce anxiety; bring back words, memories and feelings; and connect people with loved ones. The first steps in using music might involve finding music they love, making a playlist (possibly through a streaming service) and then playing that music throughout the day as part of their care.
Music therapy can have a very powerful personal impact and also offers benefits for the carers. The Music Memories team also hold workshops tailored for carers to explain how to harness the power of music therapy and to teach some basic techniques for using music in their day-to-day caring.
Music Memories is managed by The Loop – a local charity which was set up by the owners of Home Counties Carers. The Loop helps and supports care charities and voluntary groups across Surrey. Ingrid Clift from The Loop is passionate about Music Memories and says “The results of music therapy on people living with dementia and Parkinson’s can be amazing and profoundly moving.”
If you think this might help someone in your family, why not give it a try.
Music Memories – the Dementia Music Therapy Group
Meets every Tuesday 10.30 to 11.30, in the Canterbury Rooms at St Martin’s Church, KT24 6RL
For further information, or to discuss what is involved, please contact Ingrid Clift at The Loop. Her details are: