This week is dementia and music therapy week. Although BUDI doesn’t do music therapy, nor do we or the musicians we work with subscribe to the notion of ‘therapy’ where music is concerned (therapeutic perhaps, but our work is not intending to provide therapy to people with dementia). However this week has allowed the work of the BUDI orchestra to feature in three arenas. First on Monday in a piece in the Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jun/22/breakthroughs-in-bournemouth-how-the-bso-is-providing-relief-for-people-with-dementia
Second at the Royal College of Nursing annual congress held locally this year at the BIC where we presented the project to a surprisingly full and room (as our session was 5-6pm after a long day for delegates) and met with great enthusiasm. Lastly, following a well received presentation featuring the BUDI orchestra work back in May at a UK collaborative meeting between Universities engaging in social research on dementia we were lucky enough to be invited to a roundtable discussion held at Westminster on Thursday 25 June. This discussion was attended by practitioners, academics, government agencies (e.g. NHS England, Public Health England) and care providers, where we had the opportunity to share our work with colleagues and also to learn more about other music projects; the majority of which largely fall under the umbrella of music therapy, but also a range of other creative initiatives designed to engage and improve the well-being of those living with dementia. The BUDI orchestra remains a unique initiative in that our approach is inclusive (students, musicians, people with dementia at all points in their journey through dementia, and family members working together to learn, rehearse, play and then perform) and designed to provide a social and fun experience for people with dementia living in the community. (By contrast much music therapy is only available in clinical and care settings). If you haven’t seen the BUDI orchestra in action yet we have two performances coming up in the next couple of weeks – 11th and 13th July. Do come along and support our nationally and internationally innovative and unique work!