Transforming Communities

Live Music in Care with South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation

“I saw pleasure! One resident was thoroughly enjoying herself and she doesn’t (usually) interact with anyone. She was dancing, squeezing my fingers till they were white! It’s really brought the best out of our residents. You see it for yourself!”

The Live Music in Care programme supports and expands musical activity in care settings with the help of carefully trained professional musicians from Live Music Now. Celebrating music together encourages care staff and residents to find a shared interest and supports care givers to recognise creativity and its value in care.

Live Music Now is working in partnership with South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation in care settings for older people, younger adults with learning disabilities and the forensic health services in Calderdale and Dewsbury.

Over the last 12 months Live Music Now musicians visited 16 different care settings, delivering a total of 128 music sessions, working with over 32 members of staff – encouraging shared participation and engagement with music – including singing, clapping and dancing.

Live Music Now musician Simon Robinson found himself regularly working with 30 enthusiasti residents at Millreed Lodge who were supported by staff member ‘B’. By the end of the residency B was able to strum along with basic chords on the ukulele and Simon shared a songbook for future music sessions.

Simon Robinson at Pennine Lodge in Todmorden

Simon also worked at North View in Todmorden –  a care in the community house with five younger adults. He encouraged the participants to develop their musical skills and each week they all tried a new instrument which Simon brought along as well as leading some great sing-along sessions. North View was originally the home of John Fielden  a textile mill-owner who campaigned for better conditions for children in the 1840’s  – and who is actually an ancestor of Simon’s!


Musicians Tom Hawthorn and Harry Orme have worked with several staff members at both Valley View and Park View in Halifax. Tom wrote:

“Last week during a care home residency that I’ve been doing with Harry Orme, I noticed Norman staring at my hands whilst I was playing, in a way that only drummers do, so I had my suspicions…But when he asked me what sticks I used it was official. So this week I brought him some sticks and a pad so he could join in.”

Other programmes have been delivered by The Dovetail Trio where Anisa, manager at Savile House care home, wrote:

‘I am emailing to tell you what fantastic work Rosie, Jamie and the team have done here. I have people come out and join in from their bedrooms. These are individuals who normally don’t come out to join in anything’

Live Music in Care with South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation will continue to roll out into 2023 providing more opportunities to develop the partnership across the region.

Read more:

Live Music In Care: Improving Health and Quality of Life for People Living with Dementia

Live Music in Care report: Music benefits the whole care home and contributes to person-centered care

Music & Culture in Care: Wales 2022



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