Laura Bolton

MHA Music Therapist with musical instrument

Helping people to connect

When Laura was working as an auxiliary nurse, she witnessed a Moment of Joy that led to her becoming a music therapist.

She had observed someone living with dementia lose the ability to speak and rarely acknowledge the presence of other people, even those she knew well. Then, as the lady was attending a concert one afternoon, Laura saw her begin to sing fluently.

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Laura. “I hadn’t heard her speak for three weeks. When I went over to her, asking her if she was enjoying the music, she seemed to be aware that I was talking to her.

“I never forgot witnessing this and how powerful music can be in stimulating skills which may be fading, helping to connect with people who may be extremely hard to reach.”

Establishing a sense of self

Laura then trained as a music therapist and has been doing the job for 11 years. She has played music herself since she was four years old and feels it’s a privilege to work with people who are living with dementia.

“I have met so many amazing people and seen people respond so positively to music,” says Laura. “They often create their own music, playing instruments they have never tried before and experiencing feelings of satisfaction.”

Laura believes music therapy stimulates parts of the brain that helps people re-establish a sense of self. “Bonds can be strengthened between people using music, decreasing social isolation,” says Laura.

“Being a music therapist is extremely rewarding.”

Watch this short video to find out more about why Laura thinks music therapy helps people with dementia.

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