July 15, 2019 2:11 pm | Published by

Music Therapy at The Nicky helps improve memory and communication
As part of its developing programme of enhanced activities for its members The Nicky Alliance Centre has piloted music therapy to help those with memory loss and to help improve communication capability.
The project, made possible by a grant of £2,300 from AJEX The Jewish Military Association UK, comprised two elements; a 10 week project based on The Nicky’s existing singing group and a further 12 week ‘Musability’ course, where a smaller selected group of eight people had the opportunity to play different instruments and conduct.
The project was arranged by Karen Grant, The Nicky’s event coordinator. She said: “People of all ages relate to and enjoy music, making it a universal language, of sorts. However, its value can go far beyond simple listening, especially with older people. This is now becoming an accepted therapy for older folk with memory or communication problems.
Therapists have been using music therapy for a while now to promote memory and a sense of self in the treatment of older adults with dementia and it’s proving to have benefits.”
Music therapy is a target-oriented and purposeful activity in which therapists work with individuals or groups, using musical expression and the memories, feelings, and sensations it evokes. These feelings are so strong, they’re meaningful even if patients cannot remember who they are.
Michelle Wiseman, chief executive at The Nicky, said: “We are grateful to AJEX for supporting this important work. We have a number of veterans among our members and it is good that they can benefit from our work.
“This is an innovative project for us and we are delighted with the responses we have seen so far.”
AJEX national chairman, Colonel Martin Newman, concluded: “AJEX is delighted to support The Nicky as it provides a vital service for many of our members in and around Manchester and to the wider Jewish community. We were aware of the benefits of music therapy and felt this was a most worthwhile project for us to help fund.”