Nursing homes in Graz embrace classical music as therapy
The city has arranged four tailor-made programmes for the different residences as a way to reconnect with patients’ life and memories
Yesterday, authorities in the Austrian city of Graz announced a new feature for nursing homes – small classical concerts. City officials have said that the initiative aims to use the regenerative psychological effects of music to increase the therapeutic qualities of nursing homes and offer some ‘soul healing’.
According to a statement by the city, the musical selection will focus on pieces residents would be familiar with, as well as music to mark the coming of spring. Musicians will be selected by Verein Live Music Now – Styria – a non-profit organisation that specialises in free classical concerts.
Attuned to the listeners’ needs
City officials have pointed out that there are four individual concert programmes – tailor-made for each nursing home. Each performance would last for about an hour, while organisers have made an effort to explore the individual biographies of residents and create resonating experiences.
The four professional artists of the Grössler Artist College will take nursing home residents into the realm of operetta and create a good atmosphere with well-known songs. The program will consist mainly of songs by Robert Stolz, Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar, Edmund Eysler and Franz von Suppé, and performances by the famous Graz folk actor Alexander Girardi complete the performance.
According to Health and Care Councilor Robert Krotzer, this can influence mental well-being, especially in patients with dementia, according to several studies. Familiar music can invigorate and bring back memories, as well as moments of clarity for dementia patients. In general, art is thought to increase their quality of life.
Additionally, Krotzer explained that there are a lot of benefits to bringing back live music to people who are no longer able to go to concerts and offering them variety and a sense of care through catered experiences.