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Accessible Orchestras pilot brings virtual concerts to senior centre in Helsinki


The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, Kardemummo Oy and Roihuvuori Senior Centre are implementing a pilot in spring 2021 in which virtual concert contents will be provided digitally to residents of the senior centre.

In the pilot trial, residents of the Roihuvuori Senior Centre will be able to enjoy concert experiences with the help of the HILDA content service. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra will offer seniors selected music contents with added participatory elements that support group activities. The virtual concert contents will be available to three group homes offering 24-hour care from April to May.

Seppo Soinila, Professor of Neurology and Specialist Physician, is involved in the planning and evaluation of the pilot. Soinila has studied the possibilities of music as a rehabilitation method for neurological diseases.

Music contents made accessible through collaboration

The pilot is part of the Accessible Orchestras project coordinated by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with the Association of Finnish Symphony Orchestras. In the project, five Finnish orchestras are developing their accessible activities for the elderly during 2020-21. This is a joint project with British actors and orchestras.

“In Finland, we have effective cross-administrative collaboration between the culture and the social and healthcare sectors within municipalities, as well as many new technological innovations. Together, these elements enable the development of this type of pilot and the wider accessibility of cultural services,” says Annika Kukkonen, Producer of Education at the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. 

“The elderly are an important target group for the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, and they have traditionally been reached through concerts in nursing homes and hospitals. It is great that, with digital contents, we can now be more closely involved in the daily lives of these people and caregiving. Supporting care work through digital opportunities could not be more topical than in this challenging corona period, during which older people in particular have had to live in isolation,” says Valtteri Pokela, Producer at the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. 

Kardemummo Oy, which is providing the technical implementation for the pilot, is a Helsinki-based technology company that develops digital services designed to maintain the functional capacity of the elderly. The HILDA content service, which has been referred to as the Netflix of nursing homes, helps caregivers organise activities for residents that activate and maintain a wide range of functional abilities. The service, which is accessed via television, aims to improve the quality of life of the elderly and facilitate the work of caregivers. 

“Working together with orchestras is something new and inspiring for us. We are happy to be able to offer high-quality music experiences together for those who would not otherwise have access to concert halls,” says Maaria Keskitalo, Content and Communications Manager at Kardemummo Oy.

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