Christchurch Symphony Orchestra engages with people living with dementia
Published on 15/3/2020
For people with dementia, music can be a useful tool to help them connect with others and reduce social isolation. Flourish, a new initiative by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Dementia Canterbury, aims to do just that.
Starting from the end of October 2019, the inaugural programme has brought live and interactive music to people with dementia over the course of several weeks, culminating in a Christmas gathering with CSO musicians and all the participants, their carers and families. CSO Head of Community Engagement Cathy Irons said she was inspired by seeing the Christchurch Art Gallery’s art programme with Dementia Canterbury and wanted to create a similar platform with music. “Music is something that people recognise and remember,” she said. “We wanted to provide a platform where not only can people hear music but also interact with it.” CSO musicians have worked very closely with Dementia Canterbury in planning the programme and undertaken specific education so that they are prepared when it came to communicating and working with people with dementia.