People who use services at Savile Close Day Centre in Halifax have been treated to a live music session, performed by singer John Cunningham and pianist Paul Thompson from national organisation, Music in Hospitals.
Savile Close Day Centre is run by South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust and provides assessment and treatment for older people with mental health problems, many of whom have memory impairment.
Music in Hospitals is a registered charity, whose mission is to improve people’s quality of life through the joy and therapeutic benefits of live music. Music as therapy is particularly effective for people with memory problems, with research proving that familiar music is better at triggering memories than any other type of sensory stimulation.
The performance featured songs from the 20’s through to the 50’s and included classics such as Danny Boy, Oh What a Beautiful Morning and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary. Staff, people who use services at the centre and their carers sang along to the familiar tunes and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Occupational therapist Jaqueline Levitt said, "Everyone had a lovely afternoon. The entertainment both engaged and entertained people who use services here at Savile Close Day Centre and provided therapy and fun all in one go! "
Pianist Paul Thompson said, "We have visited hospitals in the past and performed for people that haven’t spoken in years. As soon as they hear the music, they sing along. Music is a very powerful thing that can unlock memories and it’s a medium everyone can connect with and enjoy."
A member of the audience who uses services at the centre said, "I enjoyed the afternoon very much and it made a lovely change to the television!"
• South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust provides mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year.