Music Therapy - Dementia

Music therapy for people with dementia is available individually or in small groups to improve quality of life as well as helping reduce agitation, reviving memories and renewing connections with one's self and others.

There are excerpts from recent research below.
My experience, training and insurance are detailed on the about page.
If you have any questions, please call 07948 504355 or email.

Information Sheet - more about music therapy for people with dementia

Research Sheet - examples of research in this area

Please fill in a copy of the 2 forms below before commencing music therapy. Every detail you can provide helps. You can print these and bring them with you, or fill them electronically and email.

Referral Form - provide background, aims, additional information

Consent Form - provide permission for therapy and optionally recording or case studies


Music therapy has been shown to reduce depression and delay deterioration of cognitive functions:

"The group music intervention is a noninvasive and inexpensive therapy that appeared to reduce elders’ depression. It also delayed the deterioration of cognitive functions, particularly short-term recall function. Group music therapy may be an appropriate intervention among elderly persons with mild and moderate dementia." (Chu et al. 2013)

In randomised controlled studies, music therapy was shown to reduce some behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD):

"music therapy reduces agitation disruptiveness and prevents medication increases in people with dementia." (Ridder et al. 2013)
"music therapy can promote the maintenance of the sense of identity in people with dementia and can stimulate the global cognitive functions." (Raglio et al. 2008)

Two systematic reviews of music therapy studies found improvements in mood and reduction of anxiety. They include some discussion of duration - effects increase when therapy last for more than 3 months, though there are no long-term studies to date.

"The results showed that music therapy had moderate effects on anxiety and small effects on behavioral symptoms. In studies of duration greater than 3 months, music therapy had large effects on anxiety. The present systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that music therapy is effective for the management of BPSD." (Ueda et al. 2013)
"Evidence for short-term improvement in mood and reduction in behavioural disturbance was consistent, but there were no high-quality longitudinal studies that demonstrated long-term benefits of music therapy." (McDermott et al. 2013)

A Cochrane review in 2018 looked at music-based interventions for dementia (including music therapy):

We could be moderately confident that music-based treatments improve symptoms of depression and overall behavioural problems, but not specifically agitated or aggressive behaviour. They may also improve anxiety and emotional well-being including quality of life, although we were less confident about these results. (van der Steen et al. 2018)