Music in Mind's pioneering approach is continually generating ideas for further projects into dementia with little research. Through its partnership with the University of Manchester and Lancaster University, Manchester Camerata has just appointed a PhD student to conduct world first research into an 'in the moment' multi-sensory assessment tool to measure the transforming effects of Music in Mind on the lives of people with dementia. Since 2012 Manchester Camerata has been working with people living with Dementia in both care homes and community settings across the North West. Its musicians uniquely work as co-facilitators alongside music therapists, using improvisation to enable self-expression and strip away the dementia to reveal the person behind the illness. As a research-led project there is a growing base of evidence that Music in Mind improves quality of life, enhances relationships with others and reduces the use of medication.
The shortlist for the awards was announced live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune programme on Tuesday 31 March, with the winners to be announced at the RPS Music Awards dinner on Tuesday 5 May. A special RPS Music Awards programme will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 11 May at 19.30.
Professor John Keady, Lead Dementia and Ageing Research Team, University of Manchester sums up its importance: 'We are at the very start of a new field of study and we are privileged to have Manchester Camerata as the CASE partner [2015-2018] in a 3-year ESRC CASE funded PhD study. This PhD will develop an assessment tool that is built first and foremost from the musicianship of Manchester Camerata as it transforms the lives of people with dementia. It will be the first assessment tool of its type in the world'.
Manchester Camerata currently has two Music in Mind projects underway:Nick Ponsillo, Manchester Camerata's Head of Learning and Participation said, 'We're thrilled to have been shortlisted for the RPS Music Awards. Everyone at Camerata is immensely proud of our Music in Mind project, which has such an impact on people with Dementia and their carers. This national recognition rewards the dedication of our musicians, music therapists and the team who have shown huge commitment to this ground-breaking project.'
Musicians and Music Therapists are working with a group of people with Dementia in Tameside looking at reducing or preventing the use of antipsychotic medication. This project is being delivered in association with The Alzheimer's Society and is being evaluated by New Economy.
From March to June 2015, Camerata is working at the Young Onset Dementia Service in Manchester and with Social Adventures at the Garden Needs Community and Wellbeing Centre in Salford, delivering music therapy sessions for residents and people in the community living with early onset Dementia. This project will be based on the theme of place, and will use the area in which they live as inspiration for the creation of a new piece of music based on their locality and identity.
The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. Awards, in thirteen categories, are decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry's most distinguished practitioners. The awards honour musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and inspirational arts organisations. The list of previous winners reads like a Who's Who of classical music. This year's RPS Music Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in 2014.