Help us share the gift of live music this Christmas – and open up a child’s world
At Music in Hospitals & Care, we share live music to help people communicate, connect and, sometimes, to set them free. We believe that for adults and children in hospitals and care settings, music builds a shared language. It has the power to unlock human potential. It can relieve frustration and reduce the perception of pain. It can help people make connections when they’re feeling isolated. It can also be an enriching sensory activity for those with visual or hearing impairments, like one year old Amari.
Amari, who wears hearing aids, attends the Manchester Sensory Support Service, which supports a group of children with a range of similar issues. Amari’s hearing problems have left him behind his friends of the same age, who are already able to sing songs. But at the group, a world opens up for Amari. Live music is shared with the children by our professional musicians. For Amari and children like him, it’s a chance to share the uncomplicated joy of live music. To get used to their new hearing aids, which are crucial to their development.
Like many children with hearing aids, Amari finds them uncomfortable. But when the music starts, he’s no longer so aware of them. He is soon lost in the sounds, which help him get used to the devices. Ultimately they’ll ensure he develops language like his friends. Live music also provides a sensory experience. Amari loves to feel the vibrations of the instruments as they’re played.
“The music made Amari very excited! He shook the bells very hard. He also loved touching the instruments,” says Leah, Amari’s mum.
At home, Amari rarely listens for long to music on the television or radio. But when the musicians play, he is completely captivated. He loses himself in the sheer joy of music and enjoying all the benefits it brings. He particularly loves the maracas, bells, strings and double bass.
For his mother Leah, it’s an opportunity to get together with other parents who understand her concerns. They can support each other – as well as enjoy the fun of live music.