RESIDENTS and staff of community hospitals in Limerick and across the Mid-west region have enjoyed a series of live musical engagements as part of a pilot project led by Limerick City and County Council and supported by Creative Ireland.
Musicians-on-Call, a Music in Healthcare concept by Kids’ Classics, was spearheaded by the Council’s Limerick Arts Office in collaboration with Age Friendly Limerick and Healthy Limerick.
It was delivered in partnership with artistic partners Kids Classics, the HSE and Clare and Tipperary County Councils.
The aim of the project was to promote health and well-being by improving the quality of life and cultural access for those who live and work in healthcare settings, by bringing high quality live music to vulnerable older members of our communities living in nursing homes.
But rather than the musicians just coming to play a particular set, the music was tailored to the specific audience, who were key to leading each music visit as an active participant.
This Outside-In Music approach placed the residents’ interests and choice at the heart of music making, by connecting closely with the community setting before each visit and allowing the residents to curate each visit through a two-way responsive engagement.
It’s hoped that Musicians-on-Call can be further developed and expanded following a review of the pilot programme.
Musicians called on residents in St Camillus Hospital, Limerick, St Ita’s Hospital, Newcastle West; as St Joseph’s Hospital, Ennis; Raheen Community Nursing Unit, Scariff; Ennistymon Community Nursing Unit and Regina House, Kilrush in County Clare; and St Conlon’s Community Nursing Unit, Nenagh; Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Unit, Roscrea and Community Hospital of the Assumption, Thurles in County Tipperary.
The project was delivered by professional musicians trained to work in Healthcare Settings and also offered an opportunity for local and regional musicians new to this field of practice to gain experience in this person-centred creative engagement approach to live music in Nursing Homes.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler has praised those behind the initiative. “At the heart of the project is the benefits of music and culture in supporting mental health and well-being. It demonstrates the power of partnerships and the power of music. The Arts Office, the Age Friendly Programme and Healthy Ireland of Limerick City and County Council worked together, along with the HSE, and with our colleagues in Clare and Tipperary County Councils to bring this wonderful programme into the community.”
Pippa Little, Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council and Creative Ireland Limerick Coordinator added: “Musicians on Call was a new project. It has surpassed our expectations of what might unfold and has residents and healthcare staff at its core, supported by the specially trained team for bringing music to healthcare settings by Kids Classics. It is particularly important with Covic-19 and the current context, where on-going restrictions have particularly impacted on the quality of life of residents and staff working in Nursing Homes and Community Hospitals.”
Sian Rowe-McCormack, Director of Nursing, St Camillus’ Hospital said they were delighted to see the impact that this music programme had on residents and staff. "Its value grew from session to session with our residents delighted to attend the sessions. There was excitement preparing for the musicians and the craic in the session led to chat and banter for days after. Our residents embraced the opportunity to be entertained and to entertain.”
Musicians-on-Call was funded by the Creative Ireland Creativity in Older Age Fund.
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