As a musician who suffered a stroke more than a decade ago, I was delighted to read of the Manchester Camerata’s decision to move into a tough, disadvantaged area in the city and bring what is called the “spiritual medicine of music” to the area (‘Spiritual medicine’: orchestra helps people with dementia write music, 27 September).
It has long been found that music often provides answers that drugs and medical treatment can’t supply. Long ago, when teaching at Kingston Polytechnic (now a university), I found that the opportunities to learn to play and sing provided students and staff with a wonderful opportunity to unite and often resolve many difficult issues. Many students who had no opportunities for musical training before started new lives. One outstanding figure is Symon Clarke, a gifted composer.
Also, in general, I found that students who were often disruptive suddenly changed their attitudes when offered a musical outlet.
Now aged 81, I continue to work on new musical projects every day.