Not Bad for an 85-year-old!'--the Qualitative Analysis of the Role of Music, Therapeutic Benefits and Group Therapeutic Factors of the St Joseph's Alzheimer's Adult Day Program Music Therapy Group


Canadian Journal of Music Therapy




The aim of this interdisciplinary research project was to gain new understanding into how a music therapy intervention affects the quality of life for clients with dementia. The research was based on the qualitative paradigm, adapted grounded theory, and narrative inquiry (Amir, 2005; Ceglowski, 1997; Coffey & Atkinson, 1996; Corbin & Strauss, 1998; Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Glaser & Strauss, 1967, 1999; Glaser, 1998;; Glesne, 1997; Strauss & Corbin, 1990, 1997). Music therapy sessions of the Music Therapy program at St. Joseph's Health Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada were videotaped and qualitatively analyzed. Residents, family members, and staff were interviewed and the interviews were qualitatively analyzed in order to obtain their perspective. This article summarizes one set of the results of this interdisciplinary study, the qualitative analysis of therapeutic benefits and group therapeutic factors of the St Josephs Alzheimer's Adult Day Program Music Therapy Group. The videotaped sessions of clients with dementia showed that, by participating in the MT sessions, they (1) were able to work through some of their initial negative feelings (e.g., feeling sad, frustrated, stupid), (2) began to feel proud of their accomplishments and eventually (3) began to really enjoy the experience. The Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation funded the research project. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Agitation; Anxiety; Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Interviews; Music Therapy; Music Therapy Treatment Center; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Patient Satisfaction; Quality of Life; Sadness

Indexed Terms

quality of life; dementia; therapeutic benefits; Therapeutic Processes

Study Type

Grounded Theory Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type


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