Embrace Netherlands was founded in 2016. The foundation, with its office in Leeuwarden, set out to help as many vulnerable people as possible through music programs.
And we are working hard on that, says director Margot Hoiting. ,,Although our anniversary year in 2021 turned out differently than we hoped and expected.” The reason is easy to guess. Corona,” she sighs. Many of the planned activities did not go ahead. Groups of people who normally already have a hard time were doubly affected. At least, that’s how it felt. ,,We didn’t play at the bedside in a hospice, we didn’t make music with our homeless group. In care and nursing homes we stayed quiet because we couldn’t play music with the people and their caregivers.”
Embrace devises science-based music programs and training for people in need of care or working in care: in the broadest sense. For example, informal caregivers are taught how to use music in simple ways to improve contact with a friend or family member. There is a theater project in which people with and without disabilities practice and perform together. Caregivers are trained how to reach people with dementia when improvised music is made together.
,,Sometimes you may speak of real moments of happiness. Even if those moments sometimes only last a short time, they are taken for a moment to a place that is more fun. Not the pain or sadness for a while, but nice music or listening to music together. And that’s incredibly important. You want, no you have to make people feel like they matter.”
Embrace’s musicians all undergo special training at the conservatory before being allowed to work as Embrace trainers. Margot Hoiting: ,,Embrace not only comes to tell and demonstrate, but also explains it all well. After all, we don’t do trade secrets. Our concern is that caregivers can continue to apply our knowledge, but above all learn to use their own creativity. Embrace wants to start a movement, with more music in healthcare and the social realm. We are well on our way, but far from where we want to be. So on to the next five years!”
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Read the article on the front page of Huis aan Huis Leeuwarden here: