Music in the Odensehuis

Students and alumni of Prince Claus Conservatoire have written compositions and made music for people with dementia and their relatives over a period of three months in the Odensehuis in the autumn of 2015. 

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​The musicians, who all lived in the borough, made texts and songs together with the participants in the Odense house. The Odense house is a walk-in centre for people with dementia located in the Korreweg borough in Groningen. The texts were based on stories about the lives of the visitors and a professional text writer was involved in the writing process. The musicians continued with the work, again in collaboration with the visitors, resulting in compositions which were actually recognised and felt as being their own stories. Opera maker, singer and former artistic leader of Yo! Opera Anthony Heidweiller was artistic supervisor of the project. The compositions were be performed in the Odense house and at the Prince Claus Conservatoire. Furthermore the concert was performed once again at the Festival for the Elderly 'The Art of Ageing' in the city of Groningen on 28 February 2016.
Brochure Muziek in het Odensehuis
Publication outcomes practice-based results (Dutch)
Final report research project (English)

Opera maker, singer and former artistic leader of Yo! Opera Anthony Heidweiller was artistic supervisor of the project.  He has a great international reputation in participation- and community projects.

While the project was being carried out, the research group carried out a study which consisted of interviews, observations and a literature study. The outcomes of this research will be used by other Odense houses and centres for day care in the Netherlands. 
The objective was to arrive at a sustainable practice which would connect the musicians with the Odense house in a structural way.
The musicians, in particular the alumni, have gone through a number of coaching sessions about entrepreneurship. 
In January 2016 the alumni involved in the project continued their talks about the development of a new initiative with the people from the Odensehuis with the purpose of continuing this project in a sustainable way in 2016. 


Music and Dementia
That music is important to people with dementia is by now a well-known fact. Much research has been conducted into the positive effects of music on the wellbeing of people, of which Oliver Sacks’ work may be the most renowned. Sacks says that communication with people with dementia can always continue, even when someone is no longer able to communicate verbally. Between 2009 and 2014 the research group Lifelong Learning in Music conducted in-depth research into the practice of Music for Life, which was initiated by Wigmore Hall in the UK. In this project musicians work with people with dementia and their carers in creative music workshops. This research was the foundation of the practical development of this new area of employment for musicians in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, The Hague and Friesland musicians are currently at work in care homes for people with dementia. With the project Music in the Odensehuis the research group is continuing to build on the development of this innovative music practice. The project has been embedded in the research strand Healthy Ageing through Music & the Arts of the Research Centre Art & Society. ​
This project is supervised by professor of Lifelong Learning in Music, Rineke Smilde, and is realised in close collaboration with the Odensehuis.

Involved in the project:
Artistic supervision: Anthony Heidweiller  
Researchers: Karolien Dons, Tine Stolte
Text writer: Annejoke Smids
Coach Entrepreneurship: Linda Hendriks 


 Photo's: Deborah Roffel

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