A Gentle Beat

Beat It Percussion is developing a new project called A Gentle Beat. This has grown from our Care and Nursing Home customers’ requests to provide a meaningful creative experience for people who are hard to reach through advanced dementia or nearing the end of life.

A Gentle Beat uses drums and percussion instruments to stimulate interest and communicate with people who are at the advanced stages of dementia. We have recently completed a Pilot Project in Powys which is being evaluated by the University of Gloucestershire. Find out more about this scheme here

During the Pilot our practitioner worked 1:1 with an identified group of 7 people, with close support from activity workers and other staff. People were given the chance to hold, touch, strike and shake our collection of sensory instruments and their responses were monitored. We saw people respond by becoming more awake, reaching for objects and making verbal and non-verbal communication with others. Also, people who were agitated became calmer. Residents who were not part of the target group also benefitted by enjoying the sounds and rhythms being made, especially those who like singing.

‘what we have learned more about is small interactions and body language. They’re the (clients) that tend to be forgotten about, it’s not easy to do things with them. We have more awareness of sensory relationships now.’

This project draws from techniques and instruments from the sound therapy discipline giving people who are often overlooked the opportunity for a creative experience as well as a quality interaction with the practitioner and support staff. We passionately believe that people at all stages of life have the right to enjoy creative experiences and intimate human communications. This project is targeted at settings providing end-of-life and nursing care.