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A Music Therapy Makes Elders 'Live Like Ourselves'


Have you ever thought about being in nursing facility? You might think “it doesn’t matter to me,” but you will need some help when you are getting older.
Once you are in nursing home, you may not be able to enjoy going out with friends and doing whatever you want, because there are many obstacles.
To change this circumstance, “LiryMusica” works on this problem. They visit nursing homes, and provide a ’Music facilitation’ class. Their vision is to create a circumstance that many elderly people can live like themselves.

A program makes everybody active!

Their unique activity, ’Music facilitation’ is a special music program. It usually starts like this,

What songs would you like to sing today, everyone?

Participants can request what they want to sing. This is one of the main reasons why this music program can give them positive energy.
Many nursing staffs in Japan always struggle to understand the personality of newcomers. Throughout the program, they can find out new participants’ characters and personalities as well.
For example, nursing staffs were so surprised when a very shy lady sang out loud in the session. On the other hand, some other participants dressed up for this activity! These astonish changes even have motivated nursing staffs.

Not therapy, it’s a facilitation program.

A company director of “LiryMusica”, Moe Shibata says,

I have liked music since I was little. When I learned that music can be used in hospital and nursing facilities, I was so shocked and inspired.

On the other hand, after she became a music therapist, she got to know there were no companies to work. So what she had done was to set up a new company for music therapists. This is how “LiryMusica” was born.
Moe Shibata
For the first couple of years, she struggled hard to spread the idea of the music therapist.

I wasn’t sure how could I run a business, and how to assist in nursing home as a therapist.
Our team surveyed in some nursing homes to search for what they really need. Throughout the research, we found out that our program should be expanded. We learned our program may be able to create a nice atmosphere there. It’s because music can be utilized as a communication tool between elderly people and nursing staffs, as well as among them.
This is how our program was born, and the reason why we call “Music facilitation.” So, it’s not actually a therapy, but more wider.

What can you do to make the elderly people smile? What kind of project make them happy in your countries? I am confident their activities will be more demanding and valuable in the further future.
[via Greenz.jp written by Eriko Morichika]
[English Text by Mao Ohno]


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