Casio Music UK, one of the world’s most renowned producers of electronic keyboards and digital pianos has partnered with Music For Dementia and charitable care provider MHA, to launch ‘Light Up My Life’ – a new research initiative to better understand how music can positively impact people living with dementia. Revealed today on World Alzheimer’s Day (21st September), the research project will see care homes nationwide participate in a 12-week study whereby participants will gain improved access to music participation and support with the goal to enhance quality of life – but ultimately, to gain insight to shape the development of future musical activity offerings to those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Teaming up and working collaboratively with Music for Dementia and MHA, Casio is set to send out 50 lighting key keyboards – specifically the LK-S250 – to care home managers, staff and music therapists from the end of September, whereby they can be utilised to engage their residents and anyone living with dementia for improved music participation. As well as receiving the musical instruments, detailed training will be provided to the carers and music therapists, such as easy-to-follow piano lessons, suggested musical activities, a run through the features of the keyboards and much more. It is anticipated the research project will engage with a great deal of people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, and for many this may be the first time they’ve interacted on a musical level or have played a musical instrument. Carers and music therapists will deliver a schedule of musical activities for the participants and then record their experiences and share feedback upon completion of the 12-week spell.
The research project, just launched, aims to gain a better understanding and insight into how the use of these musical instruments, as part of a musical care plan, can better help those living with dementia at various stages of the condition. After the research period ends, it is hoped the findings will showcase learnings to better understand how this resource of musical activity can support those living with dementia to incorporate music into their daily care to enhance and enrich quality of life. These learnings will help to develop and tailor a unique musical offering with supporting resources to improve access to music participation and care.
Neil Evans, Head of Casio EMI, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Music for Dementia and MHA, two highly respected entities on the launch of this important and meaningful research project. We have seen an impressive uptake of music across the older generation in recent times, highlighting just how much of a crucial role music plays in everyday life. We’re excited to see how care homes and music therapists will use their new light up keyboards to engage with residents in both group and individual settings to help light up their lives.”
Grace Meadows, Campaign Director at Music for Dementia, added: “The launch of ‘Light Up My Life’ is hugely exciting for us. We’re confident that the participants of the project will truly benefit and enjoy playing their new light up key keyboards. World Alzheimer’s Day marks an important date for those living with dementia and we’re proud that we can say this is a step in the right direction for providing access to meaningful music to those who need it most.”
Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 presenter and Music for Dementia ambassador added: “The ‘Light Up My Life’ campaign is a really exciting project. Music has the power of improving the wellbeing of people living with dementia and I believe the campaign could help enable them to feel independent once again.”
Ming Hung Hsu, Music Therapy Lead, MHA, said: “We’re thrilled to kick off such a fun and engaging initiative across MHA care homes. It will provide access to the tools needed for our fantastic music therapists to continue providing non-verbal means for those with dementia to help express themselves. We know just how important music is for people with dementia and we’re eager to see the research findings in early 2022.”
Specifically chosen for the study, Casio will be providing its lighting key keyboard – the LK-S250 – which will all come bundled with an adjustable stand and headphones. Easy to use, the LK-S250 has been carefully selected due to its fun, light-up key feature which provides heightened stimulation, resulting in the pleasure and satisfaction of anyone being able to play music independently. Perfect for beginners, the keyboard is lightweight and compact making it easy to carry – thanks to its carry handles – and portable enough to take anywhere.
With many having been forced to stay at home or self isolate over the last 18 months due to the various lockdowns, a surge in music participation among people of all ages has been seen across the country. In addition to the high profile awareness campaigns from Music For Dementia, this new ‘Light Up My Life’ research initiative is set to explore even further the link between music and dementia – highlighting the health and wellbeing benefits of practicing music. The findings of the research are set to be revealed in early 2022. For more information, head to https://info.casio.co.uk/lightupmylife.
About Casio Music UK
Casio Electronics was established in 1957 and is one of the world’s most renowned producers of electronic keyboards and digital pianos among their wider portfolio of globally available products. Casio has strived to realise its corporate creed of “creativity and contribution” by employing cutting-edge digital technology acquired through the development of their innovative and imaginative products while supporting the goal to enhance quality of life through music. Casio’s offerings include timepieces, calculators, musical instruments, specialist medical equipment, electronic dictionaries, and others.
About Dementia for Music
Music for Dementia, is the cross-sector campaign to make music a standard part of dementia care. We include more than 200 organisations from the NHS, care sector, third sector and music sector plus thousands of individual supporters, many with lived experience. To find out more about the campaign and how you can sign up and support, visit www.musicfordementia.org.uk
Five ways to use music is a useful leaflet helping people to make the best of listening to music with a person with dementia.
About The Utley Foundation
The Utley Foundation was founded in 2014 by Neil and Nicky Utley. The Foundation exists to advance social causes and to act as a catalyst for greater funding and wider action for the causes it supports. Music is a personal passion of the founders and trustees and underpins many of the key funding areas of interest to the foundation. The trust has other charitable objectives including Armed Forces Veterans, Children and Overseas Aid.
MHA is the largest charity care provider for older people in the UK, offering some of the highest quality care, accommodation and support services throughout Britain. Our mission is to inspire the best care and wellbeing at every stage of later life.