A new case study published by UK charity Live Music Now (LMN) focusses on a programme of live music activities and their impact on the residents, staff and setting of Woffington House care home in Tredegar, Wales. The activities were delivered by trained early career professional musicians between 2016-2019.
LMN’s evaluation system for care staff focuses on improvements in ‘mood’ (including smiling, laughter, singing, conducting, feet or finger tapping and dancing) and ‘engagement’ (including looking up, making eye contact, speaking and communicating more) as outcomes for participants.
The feedback surveys from staff in care homes in Wales 2017-2019 showed that:
- 100 % of settings reported a positive mood response from the participants, to the performers
- 80% reported an improvement in mood in the participants during the sessions, and 85% reported an improvement in mood after the session.
- 93% reported engagement with the performance and musicians
- 75% reported an improvement in engagement during the session, and 85% reported an improvement in engagement after the session.
Impact on individual resident
The LMN Wales’ musicians’ visits had a very positive impact on the life of one resident, named Tom Brown. Tom had lived in Tredegar his entire life. He married his wife when he was 25 and after she died in 2009 he moved into the care home.
During LMN’s visits they discovered Tom was a former member of the Tredegar Orpheus Choir (and in particular loved singing the Welsh song Calon Lân). He had not performed for many years since leaving the Choir but had enjoyed the live music performances from LMN at the care home. As his favourite music was traditional Welsh brass bands, the charity arranged for brass quintet Blackweir Brass to perform for him and the other residents.
In 2018 and 2019, Tom took part in the LMN Wales live music activities at Woffington House. The visits had an incredibly positive impact on his confidence, as he joined the residents’ choir to perform at the Ffrind I Mi conference in Newport, and with the encouragement of Adam gave his first ever solo performance, singing at the event at 92 years old.
Tom’s daughter Jude visited him at the care home during LMN’s performances. She commented on how much both she and her father had valued their time together during LMN’s visits, and how much it meant for him to have music back in his life again in his last few years. His performance came much to her delight, as well as that of his friends and the staff at Woffington Home – and was reported on by the local press.
Sadly Tom passed away in September 2019, but had achieved new and unexpected heights by then through music and the partnership between Woffington House and Live Music Now.
Here’s a video of Tom talking about his life, and his love for music.
Header photo: Woffington House resident with a Live Music Now musician © Live Music Now