‘Musical sessions for vulnerable people must continue’
Embrace Netherlands: coronaproof program
HARLINGEN – Embrace Netherlands is coronaproof. That means musical programs for vulnerable, often elderly people can still be performed. Embrace deploys high-quality musicians, with conservatory degrees under their belt, to programs for vulnerable groups. They are always interactive programs, whether they are (small) concerts, workshops or training sessions.
Four corona programs have been developed that will be safely organized online or in the physical presence of people from now on. This summer, during the first corona wave, Embrace conducted some custom sessions online as well as outdoors. In retrospect, those activities prompted the development of the new program Embrace Coronaproof.
Philip Curtis, Embrace’s artistic director, emphasizes the importance of the programs: ,,The happiness of people who need extra care is paramount within Embrace. Anyone who has ever attended a session sees it immediately. People react when music sounds. It is also very nice for our musicians to play live again, so you really interact with the people. Because that’s what they miss.” Embrace is a national organization that operates a lot in Fryslân and Groningen.
What often doesn’t happen under normal circumstances succeeds “in the musical moment”; the musicians succeed in using music to connect with those who live like that in their own, usually silent world. A striking example is the video with which a former ballerina with Alzheimer’s went viral worldwide recently. After listening to Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky), the woman recognizes the music she used to create a furor with as a top ballerina and, in her wheelchair, begins to dance…
That effect is also what Embrace’s programs and training courses aim for. Philip Curtis: ,,Our experience is that our programs bring joy and distraction and knowledge. For our volunteers, caregivers and musicians. And, of course, for the people from whom Embrace derives its right to exist. It is as if on those special musical interludes they briefly regained control of their lives. That moment, is as moving as it is beneficial.”
About Embrace Netherlands
Practical expertise center Embrace Netherlands wants its music programs to inspire everyone in healthcare to use music in daily healthcare practice. Embrace Netherlands devises innovative music programs and low-threshold training to give vulnerable people a better life. We perform these music programs together with professional and amateur musicians, family caregivers, care workers and students. Our professional musicians took the master module “Music and Healthcare” at the Prince Claus Conservatory of Music.
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