Collective Music Team Takes Aim at Dementia
ITA kicked off our new Bridging Memory Through Music™ program with the first training for the staff, musicians, and volunteers. Bridging Memory Through Music™ is a unique music program for adults with dementia. It is a consecutive 12-week program that is based on existing research and literature that combines expertise from music therapists, musicians and performers, and Orff music educators to provide an enriching and meaningful music experience for adults with dementia to facilitate social connection, memory recall, improving communication and positive interactions between adults with dementia and their family members. Our current research partnership with Northwestern University and Silverado Care will last for one full 12-week cycle of the program beginning in January 2018. Bridging Memory Through Music™, formerly known as Music For The Mind, was originally conceived of and planned by the combined efforts of Emma Hospelhorn, Peggy Wise, Rickie Crown, and ITA Executive Director, Jenni Rook.
The training was held on Sunday, November 12 at ITA’s former office in the Music Institute of Chicago building in downtown Evanston. Jeff Wolfe, the Bridging Memory Through Music™ program administrator and ITA director of community programs and financial operations, hosted the training alongside ITA music therapists Amanda Ziemba and Bradley Drozdowski, Orff educators Peggy Wise and Lydia Snow, music coordinator Emma Hospelhorn, and founder and Planning Team member, Rickie Crown. The training was provided for the volunteer caregivers who worked hands-on with the program participants and their families to carry out the research alongside the staff and the musicians who will be performing throughout the program. The group engaged in singing, instrumental music performance, and movement experiences while the musicians performed repertoire that has been carefully programmed specifically for Bridging Memory Through Music™. Volunteers were encouraged to practice caregiver techniques and the staff and musicians exchanged insights with one another regarding the facilitation of the program. Lectures were provided on the Bridging Memory Through Music™ Program, dementia, grief, music therapy, the Orff approach, and best practice for providing care for individuals and families dealing with dementia.
We are excited to begin our new groundbreaking adventure! Bridging Memory Through Music™ has been made possible due to the generous donation of an anonymous funder, and the partnership between Silverado Care, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, Northwestern University (thanks to Dr. Bonakdarpour), Peggy Wise, and the program musicians under the direction of Emma Hospelhorn. It is our hope to continue exploring additional research opportunities and create a sustainable program that will include research and expand to different facilities and increase the positive impact of music on individuals with dementia and their families.
Here’s to the beginnings of a new chapter for Bridging Memory Through Music™!