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ITV Granada Reports films Music Therapy session at Heathlands Village to promote Nordoff and Robbins Northern Music Awards

Residents and staff at Beach House at Heathlands Village – a small household providing specialist care for people living with dementia – welcomed two special visitors to their musical therapy session on Tuesday morning.


They were joined by young musicians, Antony Szmierek and Mica Millar, both of whom are shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Northern Music Awards, being held at Albert Hall, Manchester next week (23 April 2024) Organised by the UK’s largest music therapy charity Nordoff and Robbins, the event – the first of its kind to celebrate Northern talent – is raising money to help the national charity to open new dedicated music therapy space in Greater Manchester.


Antony and Mica accompanied Nordoff and Robbins music therapist David and sang with several residents and witnessed firsthand how music can be used to draw people out, connect with them and lift their mood.


Beach House Team Leader, Sally Williams, was interviewed on camera by ITV News Correspondent for ITV Granada Reports Elaine Willcox, and observed how, following the weekly sessions with David, residents exhibit less agitation, and the atmosphere is generally calmer.


Antony and Mica were also interviewed by Elaine and sections of the session were filmed for a piece expected to go out today on ITV Granada Reports.


The visitors commented on the cheerful uplifting environment of Beach House and its adjacent Seaside Garden and were profoundly moved by the effects of the therapy, especially on people who are very withdrawn and considered most ‘hard to reach’.


Elaine shared that her own father is living with Alzheimer’s and clearly the story resonated with her greatly due to her experience of having a loved-one with dementia.


Music therapy at Heathlands Village is funded by a £17,000 National Lottery Community Fund grant received earlier this year and by the efforts of the Nightingale Committee.

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