Music and Dementia Reading Group

Music and Dementia Reading Group

The Music and Dementia Reading group aims to bring together researchers and practitioners with an interest in music and dementia to discuss new literature in this field.  We meet on a monthly basis for two hours, during which two papers are presented by individuals and discussed by the group.  Each session focuses on a different area of music and dementia research. The group meets once a month in the Seminar Room, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square. All those interested are very welcome to come.  Please feel free to share this information with colleagues.

Our next meetings are scheduled to take place on the following dates:

Our meetings have finished for this academic year.  Please check the website in September for further details.

Previous Meetings:

9 May 2018

Focus: Personalised music for people with dementia
This month we will be focussing on the use of personalised music for people with dementia, and we are delighted that Paula Bain from Playlist for Life will be joining us to talk about their work in this area.  Playlist for Life is a UK based music and dementia charity who use the music of a person’s life to keep them connected to themselves and their loved ones throughout their dementia journey (  Playlist for Life is based upon the Gerdner Protocol developed at Stanford University which provides an evidence-based guideline for finding and using personal music with people with dementia.
Paper 1 (Presenter – Lucy Forde)

Gerdner, L. A. (2012). Individualized music for dementia: Evolution and application of evidence-based protocol. World J Psychiatry, 2(2), 26-32. doi:10.5498/wjp.v2.i2.26

Paper 2 (Presenter – Paula Bain)

Paula will be talking about the work of Playlist for Life, giving an overview of the background to their work, their training programme and focussing on evaluations of key projects they have delivered.  She will be referring to the Evidence-Based Guideline: Individualised Music for Persons with Dementia (5th Edition) by Linda Gerdner.

18 April 2018

Focus: The use of improvisation in music therapy with people living with dementia


Pavlicevic, M., Tsiris, G., Wood, S., Powell, H., Graham, J., Sanderson, R., . . . Gibson, J. (2015). The ‘ripple effect’: Towards researching improvisational music therapy in dementia care homes. Dementia (London), 14(5), 659-679.doi:10.1177/1471301213514419

Ridder, H.M., & Gummesen, E. (2015). The use of extemporizing in music therapy to faciliate communication in a person with dementia: An explorative case study. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 26, 6-29.

Presenters: Nicky Haire and Lucy Forde

14 February 2018

Focus: Measures used to study the impact of music therapy and community singing on people living with dementia

Papers Discussed:

McDermott, O. Orrell, M. &, Ridder, H.M. (2015) The development of Music in Dementia Assessment Scales (MiDAS), Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 24 (3), 232-251.

Camic, P. M., et al. (2013). “Does a ‘Singing Together Group’ improve the quality of life of people with a dementia and their carers? A pilot evaluation study.” Dementia (London) 12(2): 157-176.

Presenters: Dr Ana Almeida and Lucy Forde

17 January 2018

Focus: Singing and dementia

Papers Discussed:

Unadkat, S., et al. (2017). “Understanding the Experience of Group Singing for Couples Where One Partner Has a Diagnosis of Dementia.” Gerontologist 57(3): 469-478.

Satoh, M., et al. (2015). “Music Therapy Using Singing Training Improves Psychomotor Speed in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Neuropsychological and fMRI Study.” Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra 5(3): 296-308.

Presenters: Dr Katie Overy and Lucy Forde