The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are celebrating 120 years since their birth and today marks the beginning of the 2017/18 concert season. At 7.30pm this evening, Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits will raise the roof alongside the rest of his orchestra at the Lighthouse in Poole with their “Rhythm of Life” performance.
The vast orchestra have recently formed a new partnership with the Arts in Hospital charity from Dorset County Council to create an artistic response to dementia. This partnership has enabled the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to create “Music For a While” which is a two year programme of fortnightly live music sessions for patients in various wards. The programme has helped reduce anxiety and agitation in dementia sufferers which therefore reduces the need for sedatives. Music has been known to reawaken personal memories which is usually otherwise lost in dementia patients. “Music For a While” is so effective and impactful that it’s been shortlisted by the Royal Society for Public Health for their Health and Wellbeing Award.
The Communications officer of the Arts Council England, Alison Millar, has shared with me that new research shows how arts and culture can help improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life for older people aged 65 and over.
This video shows us a timeline of photographs of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 1893 until present day.
Dorset County Council have produced this leaflet for carers and staff for inspiration about playing music with people who have dementia: http://www.dchft.nhs.uk/about/arts/Documents/Music%20and%20Dementia.pdf