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Care home and art school explore power of music

By Lorna Thompson

AN ELGIN care home and an art school have been exploring the power of music for residents in a ground-breaking project.

Researchers from The Innovation School, The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) at Altyre, Forres, have been working with Anderson's Care Home, on Institution Road, for 12 months on a project aimed at supporting links with the wider community and shifting public perceptions around care homes.

This has culminated in The Anderson's Experience – an exhibition which opens on Saturday, September 14, where all members of the community can go along to see, listen and read about inner life in Anderson's and how music can bring people together.

The exhibition opens this Saturday between 2-4pm and will run on Sunday, September 15, between 2-4pm, and from Monday to Saturday, September 16-21, between 10am-4pm.

The public can see the results of the collaborative project, which was funded as part of a move to "make rights real" in care homes.

Anderson’s is one of seven care homes which were awarded cash through the Life Changes Trust "Rights Made Real" programme.

The researchers have been engaging residents, staff, families and the wider community in a range of activities around living and working in and visiting care homes. Last month the project prototyped a programme of music activity which involved participation from children, local musicians and an international performer from the US.

Anderson's Care Home, in Elgin, will welcome the public when its exhibition opens this Saturday.
Anderson's Care Home, in Elgin, will welcome the public when its exhibition opens this Saturday.

Anderson’s manager Kathy McGrath-Gunn said: "It’s been a great venture for Anderson’s to be involved and work along with the GSA in the 'making rights real' project. Their expertise in design innovation has brought a new perspective, exploring how music and song within a care home setting can create further openings for care homes to become community musical centres.

"We hope to welcome new faces to Anderson’s to come and learn about our community connections and hear the stories of The Anderson’s Experience."

Dr Tara French, programme director at GSA, who is leading the project, said: "We are delighted to open the exhibition of The Anderson’s Experience to showcase the findings and share stories of care home life with the wider public.

"It is a great opportunity for members of the community to come and learn about the project and hear about the ways in which music and the community can come together to play a positive role in the care home context.

"We also hope that the project will help to communicate the inner life of care homes and move beyond existing perceptions that people might have about care home life."

To keep updated about the project, visit the Anderson’s Care Home Facebook page. For more information visit https://futurehealthandwellbeing.org/bringing-communities-and-care-together/.

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