Keith gets his groove back17th January 2023 | 3 min read
There’s nothing like a few catchy tunes to lift the spirits! For Keith, picking up a guitar and strumming a few bars was just the beginning. Now he’s sharing the healing power of music with fellow residents at Calamvale Parklands Care Community.
Healing with music
Music can be a source of joy and deliver positive health benefits for listeners of all ages. Research shows that one of the primary reasons music can improve wellbeing is because the brain likes stimulation, and music provides this better than just about anything else.
The benefits of music
1. Music sparks creativity in the brain
Listening to and playing something new can challenge the brain as it works to understand a new sound.
Keith started learning the guitar when he was a teenager and joined a band when he was 18. Over the years, juggling the competing priorities of life, he put it aside.
“Playing guitar made me feel so special and I was always looking forward to playing gigs and for my friends after school,” Keith says.
“When the team at Calamvale Parklands offered me the opportunity to get a new guitar and start practising again, I just felt so good immediately.”
2. Supporting memory recall
Music played from a certain time or place in a person’s life can trigger memories – often in a powerful and positive way.
“Playing privately in my room gives me a lot of relief because I keep recalling happy memories from my old days,” says Keith.
As he regains his confidence, Keith’s taken to sharing his talents with fellow residents at the Care Community church service. Initially experiencing a bit of ‘stage fright’, concerned about how he would sound to others, Keith knows that practice makes perfect.
“I’m not as confident as I used to be, but I practice every afternoon,” he says.
3. Positive influence on mood
Music can influence mood – and over time we learn the type of music that makes us feel best.
Having found a point of connection with others through music, Keith is now an active participant in daily life at Calamvale Parklands and takes part in the Helping Hands program. He stocks the linen cupboard every day and helps to clean up after Happy Hour.
Making these ‘everyday’ contributions has helped Keith find a sense of purpose and belonging. But he’s the first to admit, he wasn’t so positive when he first moved in.
“I’ve got to say when I first arrived here, I wasn’t quite happy but after starting to have some tasks to do, it kind of felt like home and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Keith says.
“It’s very important for everyone to have a purpose, especially people like me who struggle with overthinking. When you get busy, you feel useful, and time just runs by.”
4. Supporting each other
Keith can’t speak highly enough of the ‘good people’ at Calamvale Parklands who made it their goal to help him find his purpose.
“Despite being busy they somehow find the time to chat with me and get to know more about me,” Keith says. “I feel like they genuinely care.”
“I’m relieved that someone’s listening and acknowledging what I’ve been through in my life, and I can only say how very grateful I am to the team for not giving up on me.”