Project information

Music Therapy at MHA

MHA is committed to funding a music therapy service which can be accessed FREE OF CHARGE by the 2000 residents in its 50 Dementia Care homes. Provided annual funding of £250,000 can be found, MHA also aims to provide its residential and nursing care homes with this service.

Started in 2009 and expansion planned as it becomes established

Charity information


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  • Need


    Many people with dementia experience extreme isolation due to a loss of language skills. Music Therapy can help to break down this isolation as it provides opportunities for non-verbal communication and interaction. The sense of participation, coordination, choice making and short term memory skills, which can all be developed through music therapy, can help to relieve anxiety and distress and improve emotional well being.


    MHA is establishing a team of full time music therapists, rather than hiring external therapists for casual session, so that group and individual sessions can be provided in a cost effective way. This will also enable us to integrate the therapy into each individual's overall care plan, as the therapists will be able to work closely with the rest of the care team.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Completing the team of 12 music therapists


    » Interview qualified music therapists with a view to joining MHA on a permanent basis. Three have already joined, and a further four are sought

    A complete music therapy team will hopefully be in place by the end of 2013

    Aim 2

    To provide music therapy Free of Charge so that it can be part of every individual's care plan


    » As this project will require annual funding of £250,000, we hope to Increase charitable income by fundraising and via appeals for donations

    Charitable income will be earmarked specifically for this project though it is hoped to also raise additional funds through appeals and fundraising activities

    Aim 3

    To expand this service to MHA's Residential and Nursing Care Homes so that more residents can benefi


    » Fundraise, create awareness and publicise the results achieved so far with those residents who are receiving this therapy. A DVD is also to be made

    Following on from promoting the success of the therapy with those who are receiving it, more funds will hopefully be forthcoming so that the service can expand

  • Impact


    Residents with dementia took part in a pilot study which showed that music therapy had made a significant difference to the particpants' well being, in terms of relaxation and their interaction with others, both during and shortly after each session. Providing Music Therapy will help to relieve anxiety and distress and improve the emotional well being of residents in our care - and will help provide an improved quality of life


    Lack of funding could affect this project, though MHA would not have instigated this service unless it had made contingency plans - if the additional funding required is not forthcoming, MHA will have to utilise its charitable reserves which will in turn affect the other projects MHA was hoping to fulfill.
    Funding is required on an annual basis


    Individual donors will receive written reports and updates on the progress of this project to a timescale and frequency required by the donor. Regular feedback will also be published in our bi-annual in-house magazine which is distributed to over 50,000 supporters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £250,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £225,000 needed annually to fund 7 full time music therapists
      £25,000 equipment more instruments as service expands

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Big Lottery Fund £302,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    This service will be provided in all our Dementia Care Homes and will hopefully be extended to the other Residential and Nursing Care homes throughout the UK.


    Ultimately all 16,000 residents in MHA's care, though the project will initially be implemented in our dementia care homes with a total of around 2000 residents, half of whom live with dementia. Staff and volunteers will also benefit indirectly as those they care for will be more responsive to treatment

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MHA has been providing care and support for older people in the UK since 1943 and has become recognised for its person centred dementia care, which started with the opening of its first specialist dementia care home in 1989. All MHA care staff are trained according to guide lines laid down by the Alzheimers Society. MHA constantly strives to improve and expand its services for this increasing group of vulnerable adults.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ming Hung Hsu

    First Full time MHA Music Therapist who carried out the initial MHA Pilot Study using the Dementia Care Mapping system for residents with dementia

    Other Members Of Staff And Volunteers

    All will work together to incorporate Music Therapy into individual's care plans, thus ensuring person centred care continues as a priority