News & Events

The sound of music at Liscombe House

February 24, 2021

If music be the food of love, play on. And that is what is going to happen at Liscombe House this year thanks to music therapist Rachael Martin coming on board to run weekly music sessions with residents.

Through funding from Banyule City Council and Perpetual Impact, Rachael is being brought on board this year to step up Liscombe House’s musical program.

Since 2002 Rachael has worked in music therapy and music education in music schools, aged care facilities, community organisations, all while running her own private therapy practice and teaching studio.

Of all these, she loves working with people living in aged care homes not least because music has the power to take people outside of themselves, even for a moment.

“One of the wonderful things about music is that it takes people back to safe and pleasurable memories,” Rachael said.

As well as working one-on-one and in groups with residents, Rachael will be leading three workshops with volunteers and staff.

The focus of the workshops is to train them in a range of skills to ensure that the sound of music continues in between sessions.

“The training is not for volunteers to become therapists but to give them tricks of the trade to help deepen the musical experience,” Rachael said.

The music therapy program at Liscombe House will focus on people living with dementia.

Mandy Williamson, head of the Lifestyle Program, said it was a deliberate choice.

“Dementia steals a lifetime of memories; cues that tell you who you are, where you have come, how you got here. It can take your confidence, turning joy into sadness and family into strangers,” she said.

“We know that music therapy can help ease the symptoms of depression to enable genuine reconnection.”

Rachael agrees.

“I have seen time and again the effect that music therapy has on people, giving some the chance to rediscover what has been lost and the person behind the dementia,” she said.



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