With an ageing population, it has become increasingly important to stimulate our minds in older age. In fact, more evidence is emerging to suggest that taking part in stimulating activities such as playing a musical instrument or singing with others, can improve cognitive functioning and may even delay the effects of dementia.
The National Association for the Providers of Activities (NAPA) has suggested that activities need to be an intrinsic part of the community within care homes; we all know that using music within care homes is a fantastic resource, but we find many of our clients ask us how can we implement music within our care home outside of the Musica sessions?
There are many ways you can integrate music into your care provision, and this can include group singing sessions even just with a CD and song lyrics (make sure you use large fonts), a musical quiz – ‘can anyone guess the tune?’ and the use of ipods for personalised music playlists, amongst other musical activities.
In this blog post I want to focus on the importance of the use of percussion, and the use of Combi hand bells in particular.
What are Combi Hand Bells?
Combi hand bells are a colourful way to experience music; each bell is a different note, represented by a different colour. They come in sets of 8 (C to C) and have a beautiful high quality sound. At Musica we love them because they are very easy to use (participants can press the bell on the top or shake them, whichever they find easiest) and they sound amazing even when the notes clash!
The benefits of combi hand bells include:
- improved coordination and mobility
- increased self-esteem and social interaction
- reduced levels of stress
- improved mood and well-being
How to use Combi Hand Bells
Using hand bells with your residents is a fun way to make music together. You can play them whilst singing well known songs such as Daisy Daisy, One Man went to Mow, You are My Sunshine etc. This can be in a group or one to one setting (although bear in mind you might only want to use one or two bells if using on a one to one basis!)
You can also use them in a ‘freestyle’ session, where residents can play various instruments including hand bells either on their own or along with a piece of music. You can have fun with playing different tempos!
The main thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way of playing the bells, emphasise that the main point is to have FUN!
To be in with a chance of winning a set of combi bells (worth £50) visit our facebook giveaway
Managing Director, Musica