Advertisement

‘Being Here’: Equity Through Musical Engagement with People with Dementia

  • Rineke Smilde
Chapter

Abstract

Participating in collaborative artistic processes can be empowering for people with dementia. It can strengthen self-awareness and a sense of belonging and inclusion. This chapter discusses the project ‘Music for Life’ of Wigmore Hall in London, where musicians engage with people with dementia and their caregivers in group settings. The project focuses on ‘the person behind the dementia’. Considering this project through the lens of the musicians’ perspectives showed learning processes that were strongly influencing musicians’ professional lives and stimulated deep reflections about their identity and motivation. The reciprocal processes that could be observed in this practice can lead to a deepened acknowledgement of human dignity through all stages of dementia, and of equity—also people living with dementia can continue to grow.

References

  1. Garrett, P 2009, Can Music for Life enhance the well-being of people with dementia and develop the person-centred care skills of care workers?, masters thesis, University of Bradford, Bradford.Google Scholar
  2. Hallam, S, Creech, A, Varvarigou, M, McQueen, H & Gaunt, H 2013, ‘Does active engagement in community music support the well-being of older people?’, Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, https://doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2013.809369.
  3. Higgins, L 2012, Community music in theory and in practice, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. Huhtinen-Hilden, L 2014, ‘Perspectives on professional use of arts and arts-based methods in elderly care’, Arts & Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, https://doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2014.880726.
  5. Kitwood, T 1997, Dementia reconsidered: the person comes first, Open University Press, Maidenhead.Google Scholar
  6. Renshaw, P 2010, Engaged Passions: Searches for Quality in Community Contexts, Eburon, Delft.Google Scholar
  7. Sacks, O 2008, Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain, Picador, London.Google Scholar
  8. Schön, DA 1983, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Ashgate, Aldershot.Google Scholar
  9. Sevindik, B 2016, Performers as Facilitators – an Interview Study on Creative Music Workshops, masters thesis, Hanze University, Groningen.Google Scholar
  10. Smilde, R 2009, Musicians as Lifelong Learners: 32 Biographies, Eburon, Delft.Google Scholar
  11. Smilde, R 2011, ‘Musicians Reaching out to People Living with Dementia: Perspectives of Learning’, in H Herzberg & E Kammler (eds.), Biographie und Gesellschaft: Ueberlegungen zu einer Theorie des modernen Selbst, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York, pp. 229–244.Google Scholar
  12. Smilde, R, Page, K, & Alheit, P 2014, While the Music Lasts – on Music and Dementia, Eburon, Delft.Google Scholar
  13. Smilde, R & Bisschop Boele, E 2016, ‘Lifelong Learning and Healthy Ageing: The significance of music as an agent of change’‚ in T Hartog & A Frick (eds.), Kulturgeragogische Forschung – Ansätze und Projekte, Kopaed Verlag, München, pp. 205–220.Google Scholar
  14. Wenger, E 1998, Communities of Practice, Learning, Meaning and Identity, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  15. World Health Organisation (2016) Factsheet: Dementia. www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs362/en
  16. Zeisel, J 2009, I’m still here: Creating a better life for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s, Piatkus, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rineke Smilde
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hanze University (Prince Claus Conservatoire)GroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of Music and Performing ArtsViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations