Individual Music Therapy With Persons With Frontotemporal Dementia: Singing Dialogue


Nordic Journal of Music Therapy




It is possible to slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease with pharmacological treatment. When this treatment is given to people with types of dementia that affect the frontal and temporal lobes (Frontotemporal Dementia) the results are discouraging. It is observed that the patients show pronounced restlessness and mania. In this article we describe a nonpharmacological psychosocial approach, music therapy, and how it is possible to work with this method when constitutional, regulative, dialogical, and integrative aspects are included. The focus is on therapeutic singing where well-known songs are applied in order to build up structure and stability and/or as means of arousal regulation. Songs with personal meaning make it possible to acknowledge the person's emotions, breaking the social isolation, and meeting the music therapy participant's psychosocial needs. The clinical approach is an integration of a relational music therapy approach and a more physiologically based arousal model, and is here illustrated in a case study that integrated both qualitative and quantitative data in a flexible research design. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Elderly; Emotional Functioning; Mental Health; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Social Isolation

Indexed Terms

frontotemporal dementia; singing; Dementia; Frontal Lobe; Temporal Lobe

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type