Events & News

There’s Always Music in the Air at Youville Place


Music is now a permanent feature of our lovely landscape at Youville Place. Thanks to a generous grant from the Dana Home Foundation, we have installed an eye-catching and ear-pleasing assortment of outdoor musical instruments.

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Visitors are often struck by the impressive landscape that surrounds Youville Place. Highlights include a pond surrounded by diverse trees and ornamental plants; a quarter-mile walking path that loops around the pond; and an adjacent woodland that is perfect for viewing foliage in the fall and enjoying nature at all times of year.

A beautiful setting deserves a beautiful soundtrack. Thanks to a grant from the Dana Home Foundation, Youville Place recently acquired a “signature sound” to accompany its beautiful grounds. The Dana Home grant funded the permanent installation of outdoor musical instruments that are both eye-catching and ear-soothing. According to early reports, they are also great fun.

“We are always exploring new ways to create community outside our building as well as inside,” says Katie Blanchard, Director of Programs at Youville. “The musical instruments bring a wonderful element of community and creativity to our outdoor spaces.”

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The instruments were designed by Percussion Play, a British company that specializes in outdoor musical experiences. Residents living in Youville’s traditional assisted living community can exhibit their musical skills on six upright, flower-shaped bells, known as Harmony Bells, or a xylophone that is installed nearby. The “petals” on each Harmony Bell are tonally organized in a specific key, so there are no wrong notes. There are also opportunities to collaborate with fellow residents and visiting family members.

A separate installation in The Courtyard, Youville’s memory support community, provides residents with a secure, outdoor space to play music and recall old songs from their past. Life Enrichment staff at The Courtyard plan “Music and Memory” programs every week and organize musical activities that are accessible to the Courtyard residents.

Music has been studied extensively in recent years for its therapeutic impacts on residents living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Musical experiences can help residents feel more emotionally grounded while opening different neurological pathways in the brain. This can even help residents access important long-term memories. A simple, familiar succession of notes can jog memories from childhood and elicit verbal recollections in individuals who otherwise rarely speak.

“The instruments on The Courtyard are a wonderful resource,” says Bridget Barden, Director of The Courtyard. “They are tactile, colorful, and pleasing to the ear, and our residents really benefit from multi-sensory experiences like this.”

For more information  about the Music and Memory Program at Youville Place, or to schedule a tour, please contact Susan Snow, Director of Marketing, at 781.861.3535 or send us a message online.


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