Keith’s Column

Posted by Keith Cameron-Smith | 06 Sep 2013

The value of music

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The therapeutic value of music has been recognised over many years. As far back as 1744, John Armstrong wrote: Music exalts each joy, allays each grief, expels diseases, softens every pain, subdues the rage of prison and plague.

With the inclusion of Dan Teka in the McKenzie Aged Care team as a second Support Officer, our therapeutic use of music has expanded.

It’s a rare day that I am not at the piano singing songs with a group of residents; songs that awaken memory, stir emotion and create community.

Dan brings with him a wealth of experience in music and song.

While our primary focus will always be on the support of residents, their families and staff, we have also enjoyed sharing the gift of music.

So much has been written about the value of music for all ages – from infancy to old age. One woman writes of an earliest memory when her grandmother would hold her in her arms and they would sing their favourite song, “True Love.” Her grandmother is now in Aged Care with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. She tells of the day she visited her grandmother, knelt beside her wheelchair and sang ‘their’ song.

“At first, I noticed a glimmer of recognition on her face. Then she joined in and sang the entire song in harmony. As tears rolled down my cheeks, she cried too, as if realising what she had accomplished. We sing our song every visit now. It turns a sad time into a happy time.”

Keith Cameron-Smith

Resident and Staff Support Officer