How Music Affects Dementia Patients?

Subject: Psychiatry
Pages: 3
Words: 579
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College


Because dementia has no cure, quality of life acts as a vital treatment objective for patients with the condition. Non-pharmacological treatment methods to cope with the behavioral and emotional variations linked to dementia are essential, attributable to the adverse impacts of pharmacological approaches. Depression in people with dementia could either be elicited by the alteration of the brain by the condition or the burden of being considered by other people to be of unsound mind.1

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Music education is the most common non-pharmacological means of dealing with the mental and behavioral problems associated with dementia. Music education may encompass active ways of musical engagement, for instance, singing, learning how to play musical instruments, and songwriting, in addition to deceptive practices that include listening to either pre-recorded or live music.2

There is a need for a professional music therapist to tailor programs of musical engagement to the problems of patients anchored in reputable therapeutic practice. The patient-therapist relationship is a critical aspect of the music therapy process in the successful treatment of dementia.

Statement of the Problem

People with dementia characteristically report reduced quality of life attributable to social segregation, concerns of self-hood and self-respect, varying family connections, and a reduced capacity to undertake routine chores. Such occurrences usually lead to anxiety and depression in both dementia patients and their caregivers. Dementia leads to a significant burden of suffering for both patients and their family members.3

To patients, other than mental and behavioral problems, dementia causes functional and cognitive weakening, increased utilization of social and medical services, problematical clinical management of other comorbid conditions, and enhanced risk for health complications, for example, falls, car crashes, and fractures.

Need for the Study

This study is significant as music therapy results in a decrease in anxiety and depression amid demented people. Music also benefits health professionals through the reduction of depression and anxiety, brightening up the mood, and offering a suitable means of connecting with loved ones who have dementia, especially the ones with communication problems.4 Music, in perspective employed in this study, is distinctive from significant benefits of music in medical settings and designed interventions that are not available in therapist-supported surroundings.

Research Questions

  1. What are the benefits of music interventions in tackling behavioral and mental problems in people who have dementia?
  2. How do variables such as the form of dementia, the existence of a professional therapist, the kind of music used, or the environment where it is played affect the well-being of demented people?

Limitations of the Study

Despite the usefulness of this study in the treatment of dementia, it is not without limitations. One of the limitations is that people with varying forms of dementia react to music differently, and the application of a given approach by the therapist may fail to benefit some patients. Another limitation is that behavioral and psychological symptoms tend to differ among different types of dementia. It is anticipated that patients who have different types of dementia not only express unique therapeutic needs but might also react to music variedly.

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One of the implied assumptions in this study is that music discernment is cognitive. Another assumption is that music therapy has significant positive impacts regardless of the form of dementia involved. Music is intellectually arousing and may benefit cognitive practices, for example, expressive language, in patients with dementia.5 The influence of music on dementia patients results in the maintenance of a healthy sense of worth, which contributes to an improved quality of life.


Creswell, John, and David Creswell. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2018.

Elliott, David. Praxial Music Education: Reflections and Dialogues. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015.

LeCompte, Margaret, and Jean Schensul. Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research. 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2010.

Reimer, Bennett. A Philosophy of Music Education: Advancing the Vision. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2013.

Trainor, Laurel. “The First Evidence that Musical Training Affects Brain Development in Young Children.Science Daily. 2006. Web.


  1. Laurel Trainor, “The First Evidence That Musical Training Affects Brain Development in Young Children,” Science Daily. 2006. Web.
  2. Bennett Reimer, A Philosophy of Music Education: Advancing the Vision, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2013), 87.
  3. John Creswell and David Creswell, Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 5th ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2018), 17.
  4. David Elliott, Praxial Music Education: Reflections and Dialogues, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015), 39.
  5. Margaret LeCompte and Jean Schensul, Designing and Conducting Ethnographic Research, 2nd ed. (Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2010), 56.