These are challenging times for our projects. Our projects working alongside people living with dementia have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely and we’re finding ourselves with lots more studio time suddenly. We’re sad to have lost our lovely sessions jamming and co-creating art and music alongside people – everything feels a bit greyer without all that shared playfulness and connection. We’re working to see how we can continue to support staff in the homes we’ve been working with, to keep some co-creative activities going in their homes, and looking forward to being able to start our sessions again.
But right now is a time to refocus, and to give our care home jamming kits project lots of attention. This project is all about developing resources and training to empower care staff to be able to deliver fun, engaging music jam experiences in the care home, themselves. We’ve been creating tracks to facilitate jamming and working on an online course for the past few months around our other projects, and now we have a big pile of studio time to pull this together. We have a launch date of 1st May for the jamming kits and it’s certainly helping to give us some focus in these strange times.
The idea for the kits sprang from our co-creative sessions in care homes, where the care staff have been enthusiastic and engaged in music sessions. Having John there as a musician to lead the jams musically is an important element of these sessions but equally important is the energy, bravery and enthusiasm of those joining in. We wanted to create a resource that would replace John’s role in the sessions (he’s irreplaceable obviously, but you know what I mean) and offer the musician element as a recorded track. Then the online course is all about empowering carers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to use the tracks and get some jams going.
Now does seem like the perfect time to be focusing on resources to support care staff to get co-creative with service users in our absence. As sadly our absence in the care home feels like it’s going to be a fairly long one.