Published: 18 December 2017 at 13:31
Ming Hsu, ARU alumnus and research partner at the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research, leads MHA’s music therapy service that featured on BBC Radio 4’s The Untold.
The half-hour documentary tells the story of Paul, 87, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013, and has been receiving both one-to-one and group music therapy sessions since September 2017.
As a former oboist, Paul played with various orchestras, including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic and BBC Symphony orchestras, and been a musician at West End shows in London.
The Untold follows Paul through a number of sessions and the documentary will reveal how music therapy has helped him and others living with dementia.
Paul’s wife Yvonne said: “Not long after his diagnosis, Paul went from being someone who would enjoy music and loved reading to someone with a very different personality. He stopped taking an interest in things, then he became very restless. He was not who he was. Since starting music therapy, Paul seems much, much more relaxed and happy. He seems at peace.”
Music therapist Michael Angus said: “You really see Paul’s sense of humour and sense of worth coming through in the sessions we have. There is still an aspect of him wanting to be an entertainer and that comes through in his reactions to me and my work.”
The MHA is a national older person’s charity which provides care, support and accommodation to more than 17,800 older people across England, Scotland and Wales.
MHA’s music therapy service now has a team of 24 music therapists, many of whom have also been trained at Anglia Ruskin University. They continue to be a valuable partner at the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research in helping to advance our understanding of the role of music on improving health and wellbeing of those living with dementia.