Campaign organisation Music for Dementia together with industry body UK Music have launched the report following a one year study which consulted charities, government and the health and social care sectors as well as the wider creative sector along with people living with dementia and their carers.
The Power of Music report recommends that the Government works with health, care, music, philanthropy and third sectors to work together to invest in and capitalise on the positive changes the power of music can deliver.
Outlining a blueprint for action, the report suggests:-
- The appointment of the UK’s first Power of Music Commissioner to champion and coordinate all the work in this area – setting up a new Government taskforce and a Life With Music Consortium to spearhead positive change.
- A major public awareness campaign to show how the power of music can change lives, improve health and bring communities together – supported by a new online information platform, development of which is being led by Universal Music.
- Support frontline workers with accessible training to music within three years to understand the benefits of music and how to use it as part of the care they provide in their work setting.
- Extra funding to help make music accessible to all delivered by new investment partnerships between Government, industry and philanthropists.
The Power of Music also provides examples of some projects already using music to improve wellbeing, including the Dementia Disco, offering people living with dementia along with their family or carers monthly discos which members have described has feeling like they’ve had a “proper night out”. Organisers said: “The music acts as a gateway to memories of positive experiences and memories of past events, which we then encourage our members to talk about and share”.
On publication of the report, Music for Dementia Campaign Director Grace Meadows said: “The pandemic has shown us how we urgently need to reimagine health and social care in the UK. Music has a critical role to play in this and while we’re committed to making this happen, we can’t do this alone. We need leadership, public engagement and funding at the very least, including the appointment of a Power of Music Commissioner who will turn our recommendations into action.”
UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “With strong leadership, cross-sector collaborations and a joined-up approach, music can help us recover from the pandemic and provide innovative solutions to some of the pressing challenges we face if we fully harness the power of music.”