Since late May, residents of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, a home for persons with disabilities in Siġġiewi, can enjoy a specialised Music Room. Here they can have music sessions on an individual basis as well as in groups. “Sixty per cent of the residents of id-Dar tal-Providenza are non-verbal, and through our experience with music we discovered that their life changes during a music session. They become participants of life and integrate better with the surroundings,” said Margaret Vella, Senior Physiotherapist of the Home.

The Music Room, ready for recordings. Photo credits: id-Dar tal-Providenza

The staff of the home plan that the music room would be used to do recordings, especially for plays. Mrs Vella explained that plays put up by id-Dar tal-Providenza need to be recorded entirely, as talking and memorising phrases is too difficult for most. “Music is the common denominator that brings all these together to experience lovely sensations,” she stated, emphasising the importance in encompassing the entire spectrum of ability. In the opening ceremony, Mgr. Charles Cordina, Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia, who blessed the room, focused on a twitter from Pope Francis that every person, including persons with disability, is unique and unrepeatable.

Residents & Ability promoters performing

According to the senior physiotherapist, engagement with music is transformative for the residents. “Music therapy does not only improve communication with people who are non-verbal, but also improves social interaction and social skills, improves behaviour and prolong attention spans. It maps sound to action by connecting auditory and motor sections in the brain and reduces anxiety, especially with classical and rhythmic music,” she explained.

Before the new addition, weekly music sessions took place in the hall or in the Activity Room. Residents also enjoy other services, including a therapeutic pool, multisensory rooms, ICT Lab, a gym, music and drama therapy, religious services including symbolic catechesis, professional services, as well as transport.

John de Giorgio, Governor of Rotary International for Malta and Sicily, inaugurates the room

The Music Room could only materialise with the financial assistance of Rotary Club la Valette, Rotary Club Malta and Rotary International District 2110 that sponsored the Project as well as with the Alf. Mizzi Foundation that sponsored the lift that provides access to the room. The project was coordinated by architect Prof Vincent Buhagiar.