MHA’s Music Therapy fund will get an airing on Sunday 6 July when Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes delivers the Radio 4 Appeal for the charity.
Pam, who is a Patron of MHA, will appeal to listeners to make a donation to MHA’s Music Therapy Appeal, supporting the provision of the therapy to people with dementia.
She will share the story of Dorothy Cartledge, a resident of MHA’s Maple Leaf House care home in Ripley, Derbyshire. Dorothy has dementia, but continues to find joy, creativity and self-expression through the interactive alternative therapy.
Pam said, “Music seems to unlock not just the memory, but also the personality. Sometimes when people have dementia, those signs of personality seem to have disappeared in the frail frame we can see, but the precious person inside is still there and MHA recognises this.”
Recipients of the therapy do more than simply listen to music. They are prompted to participate with musical cues, to sing, move to the music and play along with instruments such as xylophones and tambourines. If there is a particular song or style of music that they especially enjoy, this can be used in the therapy.
No musical experience or knowledge is necessary.
Listeners of the Appeal will hear Dorothy during a one-to-one session, singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow with the help of her music therapist, Chris Wilson.
Her daughter, Caroline Daybell, said, “I think music therapy really helps her mood. It’s a way of helping her to express her emotions. I’d love for everyone who has dementia to benefit from music therapy like my mother has.”
Chris added, “Music therapy is empowering. It brings people with dementia into the here and now, even when words aren’t possible.”
The Appeal will air on Sunday 6 July on Radio 4 at 7.55 am and 9.26pm, then again on Thursday 10 July at 3.27pm.
For more information about music therapy and making a donation, click here.

Update: Listen to the Appeal and make a donation here.

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