MHA launches fundraising campaign to address ‘Music Therapy gap’

World-renowned piano makers Steinway & Sons joined forces with MHA to host launch event at Steinway Hall, London

MHA has launched its fundraising campaign for its ground breaking Music Therapy treatment for people living with dementia.  This treatment has been proven to seriously alleviate the symptoms of dementia for people living with dementia (whether suffering or carers), yet figures from MHA show that only one in 1,000 dementia patients are exposed to this therapy.


To address this gap, MHA has embarked on its largest ever fundraising campaign dedicated to Music Therapy. This aims to raise funds to pay for more therapists, both in order to treat more people living with dementia, and to support them over longer periods of time. 


During the event at Steinway Hall in London, MHA’s award-winning Music Therapy team, dementia specialists and representatives from Steinway & Sons explained why Music Therapy is so important and outlined MHA’s mission to give more people access to it when they need it. Attendees learnt how powerful this therapy is in helping manage symptoms and improve quality of life.


MHA’s lead music therapist Ming Hung Hsu gave a video demonstration of Music Therapy in practice with residents, showcasing a selection of case studies. Guests were also given an exclusive tour of the Steinway showroom, and given an opportunity to network and meet members of the MHA team to understand what the organisation is aiming to achieve through its fundraising. The evening finished guests taking part in an interactive music session so they were able to understand the impact music can have on people, and more so for those living with dementia.  


MHA’s Chief Executive Adrian Bagg commented: “The event was very successful in giving key supporters and influencers a deeper understanding of what Music Therapy is and how it can genuinely and tangibly  benefit older people living with dementia. Moving films of residents in therapy sessions highlighted the importance of this service, which is funded entirely by charitable donations and is free of charge to as many residents as possible each year.”


Steinway & Sons have fully supported this important cause, as Craig Terry, Managing Director of Steinway & Sons, explained:


“We know the power and impact that music has on people and the difference Music Therapy can make to people living with dementia. Because of this, we would encourage people to take a look at the important work MHA is doing in this field and see for themselves the real difference music therapy makes to their residents.”


Music Therapy is clinically proven, helping both those living with the condition and the people around them to manage symptoms. Through using Music Therapy, therapists can regulate residents’ emotions to alleviate symptoms and identify their possible causes. It works because  music activates neurones in more regions of the brain than anything else scientists know of and research shows that despite deterioration of cognitive functioning, people with dementia retain the ability to appreciate and make music until the latter stages of the condition.


Due to people living longer and better diagnoses, dementia has now overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death. Figures show that there are 850,000 people diagnosed with dementia in the UK today. However, just 0.12% of dementia sufferers in the UK are able to receive life enhancing Music Therapy.


MHA is one of the largest employers of music therapists specialising in dementia in the UK, with a team of 19.  It is has been pioneering the treatment since 2008 and currently helps 450 residents a year who are living with dementia.  MHA has over 1,900 specialist dementia places in its care homes and wants to provide Music Therapy for all of them.


But its work only scratches the surface of the number of people that could be helped. 


MHA’s Chief Executive Adrian Bagg added: “Music Therapy really makes a difference to people who are living with dementia. I have seen for myself the work of our Music Therapists and spoken to relatives and our staff to know the impact it makes. But we want to make sure all our residents living with dementia can benefit from music therapy, as well as those cared for by other organisations, and were delighted that Steinway and Sons supported the event.”


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