Every year professional musicians from the charity Music in Hospitals and Care provide live music for more than 100,000 people who may not otherwise get to experience it.
This includes those living with dementia, people in care homes or those who are seriously ill.
However, when the pandemic took hold, the charity had to stop visiting care homes and hospitals, so began providing live music to those who need it via zoom instead.
Mary Tonner, 79, a resident at Grange Care Home, took part in a virtual music session with professional guitarist Neil Sturgeon.
She said: ‘It was fabulous, he came on with the guitar and it was wonderful.
‘Afterwards, I felt happy because it just made you feel a wee bit more alive at the end. We all went to bed happy. Even Sheena and Margaret were singing, and they’re about 90-odd! It was marvellous, I couldn’t say enough about it.’
Mary and the other residents haven’t seen friends and family or been able to leave the care home during the pandemic.
Derek Lennox, lifestyle coordinator at Grange Care Home, said: ‘We haven’t had live music for months. Everything we have been doing is just on the TV or videos.
To have someone who was interacting directly, asking them what songs they would like to hear, I think it was almost like a wee touch to the outside world again. And that just made you feel a bit more hopeful afterwards.’
Barbara Osborne, chief executive of Music in Hospitals and Care, said: ‘It’s been a challenging and isolating time for people in care homes, and we believe live music needs to be part of everyone’s health and social care.
‘Music helps people feel more relaxed and can relieve frustration and stress. While our professional musicians can’t attend in person, it’s still vital that care home’s like Mary’s have access to live music during the pandemic. That’s why we’re providing live sessions virtually.’
The charity offers personalised sessions to individual care homes, hospitals and hospices, as well as live-streamed music for everyone through Facebook and YouTube.
Click here for more information about live music sessions from Music in Hospitals and Care.
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