Care home residents have been making their own music thanks to the trial of a high tech device.
The motion sensitive device, which is connected to a PC or a laptop, has been trialled by Pendine Park care organisation through its partnership with Siemens and the Hallé orchestra.
Hallé orchestra education director, Steve Pickett, said: “As an orchestra we work closely with all our sponsors. We explained to the graduates at Siemens how we work with Pendine Park in taking music and the arts into care homes.
“We asked the graduates to help us come up with a piece of kit that would allow even the most disabled residents to join in. This is a project that started two years ago. The initial device was a wrist band that played musical notes as it responded to the movements of the residents wearing the band. That was successful but the engineering graduates have developed those ideas and come up with a new motion sensitive device that is more sensitive than the wrist bands.”
By moving their hand or fingers above the device, residents can produce musical sounds identical to whichever musical instrument the device is programmed to sound like.
Siemens is Diamond Partner of the Manchester-based Hallé which for more than a decade has had a close working relationship with Pendine Park.
Hallé musicians regularly visit Pendine Park’s care homes to conduct music sessions with residents as part of an extensive enrichment programme.
The new device got a big thumbs-up from Mike Blakely and Tony Ithell, both residents of Pendine Parks Penybryn Care Home, who were the first to trial it.
Mike said: “It’s really good and easy to use. I enjoyed playing it. It’s not hard because you just hold your hand over the box and move your hand up and down or to the side and it plays the notes.
“It’s great as I played with the Hallé. I might bring a record out now! I’ll need an agent and a record deal.”