Ken’s story

MHA Music Therapy session image

Reconnecting with the world through music

Ken, who has vascular dementia, can remember five piano tunes in their entirety. He sometimes finds more from the depths of his memory. 

His skill on the piano is a huge part of who he is and, in weekly music therapy, Ken becomes a different person. The MHA Mayfields staff who care for the 90-year-old, say that after a session, he is happier and much less aggressive. 

It has a hugely positive effect on his mood and helps him reconnect with the world.

“I can’t imagine dad without music therapy,” says Susan, Ken’s daughter.

“I can’t imagine dad without music therapy. It’s just so beneficial. I don’t want to think of him without it.”

Susan, daughter of 90-year-old former MHA Mayfields resident Ken

Providing presence 

Susan was first concerned about her dad when she noticed he was becoming a victim of scam junk mail. As his condition became worse, he began to forget where and when he needed to be somewhere.

Eventually, after diagnosis, and searching for the perfect home for her dad, Susan helped Ken move into MHA Mayfields in Ellesmere Port.

Mayfields staff say Ken is a real presence, lovable and a character. Indeed, Susan says he joined the RAF at 18 and was a bit of a ‘Jack the Lad’. Ken enjoys telling stories about his time in the RAF which gave him some of his happiest memories.

A positive transformation

When Ken is not having a good day, his behaviour can have an effect on staff and residents. His vascular dementia can cause him to become aggressive and abusive towards others. 

Music therapy help relieves Ken’s agitation, confusion and aggression. It’s especially fitting because Ken enjoyed music all his life and was very keen for his children to take up an instrument. 

“Dad playing the piano is the soundtrack to my childhood,” says Susan.

The transformation that music therapy has produced in Ken is felt by everyone in his life, including Ceri, his music therapist. Ken often thinks his role is to impress Ceri, who is always quick to assure him that she has been thoroughly entertained.

“Music therapy is just so beneficial,” says Ceria. “I don’t want to think of dad without it.”

See Ken transform playing piano with music therapist Ceri in this short video.

Sadly, Ken died in May 2019. His family are happy for MHA to tell his story.

Discover how you can help MHA music therapists provide more moments of joy for people like Ken.

Help us create more moments of joy

MHA Music Therapy session image with instruments

The price of your favourite three tracks could help towards funding a music therapy session to help someone find their Moment of Joy

MHA Music Therapist session with musical instrument

The price of a monthly music streaming subscription could help fund a music therapy session to help find someone’s Moment of Joy

MHA Music Therapist session with musical instrument - Dr Ming

Could fund a one-to-one session with someone living with dementia


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