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Pre-School Learning Alliance Musical Minis - estabished in 1989 iHubbub Best Home Business Award iHubbub Best Family Business Award

Musical Minis is a pre-school fun time music group based on developmental activities. Each structured session encourages cognitive, physical and emotional development through the use of music, instruments and stories. Often elderly relatives accompany children to Musical Minis classes and we have noted how much satisfaction the older members get out of the session. Parents have mentioned how when their grandparents, the Musical Minis child’s great grandparents, have been to a class, how interactive and ‘alive’ they become and it is quite a contrast to how they usually behave. Musical Minis uses many traditional songs and nursery rhymes which can trigger memories with the older generation as it’s familiar for them. The older people also clearly get delight from seeing how the babies and toddlers in the classes respond.

As the population of a developed country ages, the number of cases of dementia identified increases. As a way of helping care for and support people with dementia, music has been shown to often have a dramatic effect. The power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories and stimulate the brain has been shown to be a valuable feature of dementia care. With people with dementia music seems to reach parts of the brain in ways other forms of communication cannot. People with dementia often have an ability to remember songs from their past. Some people with dementia aren’t able to talk but they can sing, clap, tap their feet or move to the music.

There have been a number of studies recently which show how elderly people, especially those with dementia, respond positively to music. There have also been a number of studies which show how elderly people benefit greatly from interacting regularly with children. With this in mind, together with our experience of how elderly relatives react at our regular Musical Minis classes, we decided to explore the possibility of running Musical Minis sessions in Residential Care Homes.

Over the last few months Musical Minis has linked up with a few Residential Care Homes throughout the UK for trial sessions. The programme has been well received and has resulted in regular sessions being held. Staff in the Care Homes have noticed that their residents who don’t usually respond to other activities, to their surprise have joined in with Musical Minis. The residents have expressed how much they enjoy the Musical Minis sessions and have still been talking about it days after our visit. As well as being stimulated by the traditional songs and playing the instruments provided, it is clearly apparent that they love the interaction with the young children at the classes. Likewise, the babies and toddlers together with their parents or carers find the experience of interacting with the elderly residents rewarding and worthwhile.

The Musical Minis programme hopes to boost confidence, self-esteem and quality of life by involving elderly people, including some with dementia, in interactive singing sessions. The fact that young children also participate in the same sessions adds to the experience and enjoyment by the residents. For everyone, the residents, the staff, the children and their carers, all joining in the Musical Minis session together helps them to feel life is valuable. It has proved to be beneficial to everyone taking part and something we are keen to expand.

If you would like to find out more about Musical Minis running pre-school music sessions in a Residential Care Home in your area please contact . We would be happy to explore ways Musical Minis could work with you to achieve great results for both the young and old in your community.

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