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Changing the tune of dementia through music therapy

Song writing to improve relationships between people living with dementia and their families. Group singing to foster connectedness. And personalised playlists to increase physical activity.

These are some of the ways Dr Imogen Clark from the University of Melbourne is exploring the potential of music to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults.

Clark was recently awarded a $50,000 Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care to explore the potential of group song writing as a means for improving social connection, mental health, wellbeing and quality of life for people with dementia and their family carers.

At the 15th World Congress of Music Therapy in Tsukuba, Japan, last year, Clark discussed two other music therapy research projects and concluded that innovative music therapy interventions can play an important role in addressing ageing policy and may reduce the burden of age-related healthcare to society.

Aged Care Insite spoke with Clark about the ways music therapy ties in to preventive health among older adults and living longer better, and her current research projects.


Dementia Australia in collaboration with the University of Melbourne are seeking participants with dementia and their spousal/partner carers who are living together at home for a study investigating the effects of music therapy on health and wellbeing. Further details are available here.

If this interests you, please contact Dr Imogen Clark via email [email protected] or phone (03) 8344 4449

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