Imogen Clark

Therapeutic songwriting to support relationship quality among community dwelling people living with dementia and their family caregivers: A proof of concept randomised controlled trial

Award: 
Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care
Project Snapshot: 

This project for community-dwelling people living with dementia and their family carers aims to examine the potential of group songwriting as a means for improving their social connection, mental health and wellbeing, and positive change in quality of life for both. Group songwriting, facilitated by a registered music therapist, is an innovative process involving social interaction, mental stimulation and emotional exploration with others in a similar situation to create original songs. The songwriting process is expected to help families and couples living with dementia to explore personal resources and challenges, and may assist them to continue living together in a loving and mutually supportive relationship for as long as possible. Songs written during the project will be performed and recorded to increase public awareness and understanding about what it is like to live with dementia.

Where are they now?: 

Imogen Clark is a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at The University of Melbourne, and a Registered Music Therapist at Austin Health. Since completing her PhD in 2016, Imogen’s research has focussed on the effects of various music therapy interventions to support the health and well-being of community-dwelling people living with dementia and their family caregivers.