A Therapeutic Tune 

By PSS | Posted: Saturday August 6, 2016

Enliven residents are set to dance to the beat of a new music programme, designed to enrich lives and foster friendships and connectivity. 

Music therapist Jamie Macdonald has joined the Enliven team; tasked with further developing the music programme that was started last year with Cheree Tawhara. Further funding from CHRC Trust has enabled this to be rolled out across all facilities.

Jamie, a born and bred Southlander, is thoroughly enjoying his time with Enliven.

From facilitating singalongs, to equipping staff with the skills to use music as a therapeutic tool in their everyday duties, his work is broad; however he is ultimately charged with embedding music

“The programme is about building a stronger community through music, and one where residents can go to each other for support,” Jamie said.

Jamie also intends to work individually with some residents, focusing more on music therapy.

The programme will be focused on music participation, with initiatives such as music appreciation groups already set up for residents to enjoy particular styles of music and share their thoughts or memories.

“It’s not just sitting and listening to music it’s getting the chance to discuss it, and to connect with other residents. Some people like to sing, others like to dance, others will just listen and enjoy music in a group environment – it’s all about using music to connect,” he said.

“There are a lot of friendships and memories yet to be made, and by using music as a tool to facilitate that you can really foster connection and engagement.”

Cheree, who started the programme last year, said it was fantastic to see music going from strength to strength within Enliven.

“I’ve been talking about the benefits of music for years, and I’m rapt to see Jamie strengthening the presence of music here and creating a sustainable future for it within our activities programme,” she said.

Enliven Director Julia Russell was excited to have Jamie on board and believed further developing the existing programme would have huge benefits for residents and staff.

“Music is fundamental to people’s lives – it’s like food, it brings people together,” she said.

“This programme will be unique to Enliven Southland and specific to each facility which is exciting. Using music as a tool to connect residents really fits with our philosophy of enriching and empowering residents.”

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