Music reaches parts other arts cannot access

The Wigmore Hall has made a short film about its Music for Life programme.

It trains musicians and carers to work with dementia patients.

It works.

Prepare to be moved.

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  • Thanks for posting this. There is a lot of good pioneering work being done by musicians with folks with dementia. It seems to reawaken something. I was fascinated with how these residents could maintain a rhythm despite little cognitive functioning.

  • Please also check out the work done by the charity Mindsong in Gloucestershire – Mindsong is the Three Choirs Festival Charity this summer and there’s a premiere by Joseph Phibbs “Memento Musica”; James Gilchrist is giving a recital on the theme too

  • That music can reach parts in the psyche deeper than the intellect, has been known since antiquity. Music therapy is often used in many different treatments. Also the regular classical music concert hall has a partly therapeutic function with regular doses of Beethoven. It appears however that the works of Xenakis, Stockhausen, Nono, Carter, Babbit, Haas, Neuwirth and, of course, [redacted] and the like also touch deep layers in the human psyche, but rather in an area that psychiatrists would advice to keep closed, like the steel doors of a dungeon. The German radio orchestra of [redacted], famous for its programming modernism in the postwar period, had a very high rate of physical and mental health problems, the players’ inner dungeon being forcely opened by the repertoire they performed. When on sick leave, they would be treated by triadic classical music therapy to have these doors closed again. Imagine the effect of a Xenakis treament of dementia.

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