The COVID-19 pandemic may have halted musicians entertaining the residents of Grange Care Home in Kilmarnock but thanks to a music charity, residents are now enjoying live music virtually.
Every year professional musicians from the charity Music in Hospitals & Care provide live music for over 100,000 people who may not otherwise get to experience it. This includes those living with dementia, people in care homes or those who are seriously ill.
Since the pandemic took hold the charity had to stop going into care homes and hospitals. But they are still providing the healing power of live music to those who need it by using technology.
Residents of Grange Care Home received one of Music in Hospitals & Care’s virtual live music sessions. Professional guitar player Neil Sturgeon played for residents over Zoom.
Mary Tonner, 79, a resident at Grange Care Home, said: “It was fabulous, he came on with the guitar and it was wonderful. Afterwards I felt happy, because it just made you feel a wee bit more alive at the end. We all went to bed happy. Even Sheena and Margaret were singing, and they’re about 90-odd! It was marvellous, I couldn’t say enough about it.”
Mary and the other residents haven’t seen friends and family or been able to leave the care home during the pandemic.
Derek Lennox, Lifestyle Coordinator at Grange Care Home, said: “We haven’t had live music for months. Everything we have been doing is just on the TV or videos. To have someone who was interacting directly, asking them what songs they would like to hear, I think it was almost like a wee touch to the outside world again. And that just made you feel a bit more hopeful afterwards.”
Barbara Osborne, Chief Executive of Music in Hospitals & Care, said: “It’s been a challenging and isolating time for people in care homes, and we believe live music needs to be part of everyone’s health and social care. Music helps people feel more relaxed and can relieve frustration and stress. While our professional musicians can’t attend in person, it’s still vital that care home’s like Mary’s have access to live music during the pandemic. That’s why we’re providing live sessions virtually.”