Witnesses to Transformation: Family Member Experiences Providing Individualized Music to Their Relatives With Dementia


Cogent Education




Content analysis of 35 family members stories found that sharing individualized music enhanced memory, mood and provided interactive opportunities, where family members connected and communicated with relatives who had dementia. Technology supports a positive new role for family members, who often use MP3 players (e.g. iPods), headphones, splitters, and other technical devices to share preferred, culturally relevant, and digitized music with relatives with dementia. Family members, who provided individualized music described new positive memories and transformed beliefs about the disease and their loved one. Educational leaders in general and music educators specifically, have an opportunity to add renewed emphasis to the culture and value of music as a lifelong resource. Music appreciation courses that include technological skills for creating playlists could support a lifetime of access to individualized music for young and older students, who are also prepared to address needs of those with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Anxiety; Caregivers; Cognitive Abilities; Depression; Engagement Level; Memory; Mood; Mood; Music Listening; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Positive Verbalizations; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life; Singing a Song

Indexed Terms

Family Role; Dementia; Communication Strategies; Handheld Devices; Cultural Relevance; Memory; Alzheimers Disease; Music Education; Quality of Life; Caregivers; Qualitative Research; Content Analysis; Personal Narratives

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type