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Beat It Percussion at The Mountains

Posted on May 1, 2012 by Milkwood Admin

Between September 2017 and February 2018, Beat It Percussion has been delivering a pilot project at The Mountains called A Gentle Beat. This project uses drums and percussion instruments to stimulate interest and communication amongst people who are at the advanced stages of dementia.

Our practitioner, Louise, worked 1:1 with an identified group of 7 people, with close support from activity workers and other staff. People were given the chance to hold, touch, strike and shake our collection of sensory instruments, and their responses were monitored. We saw people respond by becoming more awake, reaching for objects and making verbal and non-verbal communication with others. Also, people who were agitated became calmer. Residents who were not part of the target group also benefited by enjoying the sounds and rhythms being made, especially those who like singing.  The sessions are now completed. The next phase of the project is for Kerry Rees from the University of Gloucestershire to put together the information he has gathered from interviewing staff members. Beat It will then produce an evaluation report so that we can share what we have learned and the project can be delivered in other settings.

Staff comments:
“I’ve noticed that with the singing bowl, the interaction calmed (the client) down.”
“ What we have learned more about is small interactions and body language. They’re the (clients) that tend to be forgotten about, it’s not easy to do things with them. We have more awareness of sensory relationships now.”

Beat It thanked The Mountains for hosting and supporting this pilot project which is part of our programme to bring the benefits of music-making to people who are living with advanced stage dementia.

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