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Photo - Bournemouth University Dementia Institute
 
 
Photo - Bournemouth University Dementia Institute
 
 
Photo - Bournemouth University Dementia Institute
 
 

The BUDI Orchestra: Evaluation of a music-based initiative for people with dementia and their carers

Music-based initiative developed by BUDI and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for people with dementia and their carers.

Name of organisation:
Bournemouth University Dementia Institute & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Title of project/programme:
The BUDI Orchestra: Evaluation of a music-based initiative for people with dementia and their carers

Dates of project/programme:
01/02/2014 - 31/10/2014

Summary
The BUDI Orchestra was created as a music-based initiative for people with dementia and their family carers living in the community, developed by BUDI and delivered in partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO). The initiative emphasised the norms of practise followed by professional and amateur musical groups (rehearsals followed by a performance). The aim of the project was to explore any impact on quality of life for people with dementia and their carers taking part in the initiative.

The initiative comprised ten weekly sessions for people with dementia (n=7) and their carers (n=7). Sessions were facilitated by BSO musicians (n=5), and supported by BU students (n=4). After the ten weekly sessions, participants showcased their achievements at a public performance. We evaluated the structure, process and experiences of all involved in the initiative.

Overall, people enjoyed taking part in the initiative. Social inclusion and a sense of community were important outcomes for the musicians as well as for the participants. Positive findings for people with dementia included increased engagement, sense of achievement, confidence and mood.

Carers reported improved mood, feelings of relaxation and improvements in their relationships with people with dementia. The musicians’ preconceptions of musical learning were positively challenged; they also felt they had learned more about themselves through supporting the sessions. The performance positively impacted audience members’ perceptions of dementia. The findings challenge assumptions of the capacity of people with dementia to learn instruments and new skills, and highlight the power of performance to challenge negative perceptions of dementia.

 

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