We are delighted to announce this ambitious new UK-wide project, funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds. Live Music Now will provide 700 interactive concerts for veterans of the armed forces and their dependents, all around the UK.
During World War II, violinist Yehudi Menuhin gave hundreds of performances for Allied troops. Following the War, together with Benjamin Britten, they performed for wounded soldiers, and for the survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (shown above). These experiences at military hospitals inspired Menuhin that music has the power to heal, and so he created the charity Live Music Now (LMN), together with his friend Ian Stoutzker.
This project will combat isolation and loneliness for veterans and their dependents across the whole of the UK by organising 700 interactive singing and live music events. Each will include a concert and also some visits to individuals, for those confined to their rooms. The events will be spread evenly around the four English regions, and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (100 in each area). They will take place in care homes and communities in which veterans of the armed forces or their dependants are resident, working with care staff, supported by LMN’s trained professional musicians.
“The difference to the quality of life of some of our residents cannot be measured. We have seen improvements in resident’s wellbeing, shown in increased sociability with staff and other residents, a general increase in ‘happiness’ and a decrease in agitation. This has been sustained in between sessions.”
Manager, Wyatt Residential Care Home
“Music, amongst all the great arts, is the language which penetrates most deeply into the human spirit, reaching people through every barrier, disability, language and circumstance… This is why it has been my dream to bring music back into the lives of those people whose lives are especially prone to stress and suffering . . . so that it might comfort, heal and bring delight.”
The Care Quality Commission has endorsed the work done by Live Music Now, and recommended that care homes consider an active music programme in order to address the questions asked by its inspectors. This LIBOR project will therefore support care homes themselves in meeting their own targets, and provide inspiration and practical tools for sustaining this work in the future.
“Creativity and innovation are key ingredients in outstanding care homes, and regular singing and live music activities can help care homes positively address all five key questions our inspectors ask of care homes. A key part of our strategy is encouraging improvement, which is just what Live Music Now does, hence the reason why I am so supportive.”
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector, Care Quality Commission