Using Music Therapy to Improve Working Memory in Dementia

Occurring Dates
Participant Duration
This study will run for 10 weeks. For one group participation will be 18 hours (twice a week for 8 weeks), the other group participation will be for three hours, 1.5 hours at week 1 (start of the study) and 1.5 hours at week 10 (end of the study).
State of study

Pharmaceutical interventions for dementia are prescribed to manage symptoms, however these treatments often involve undesirable side effects, therefore, exploration of non-pharmaceutical interventions for dementia, such as music therapy, are needed.

Music therapy is a cost effective, easily implemented intervention for dementia, however, how music therapy improves symptoms of dementia is largely unknown. Understanding how music therapy improves symptoms of dementia will allow for a greater understanding of brain processes during music therapy, and weather music therapy and musical training can delay the progression of dementia.

This study will investigate the effect of a 10-week music therapy program for people living with mild dementia.

This study has been approved by the Swinburne University of Technology Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval number 20236764-13537)

Participation details

We invite individuals who meet the following criteria to participant in this 10-week study; 

  • have a diagnosis of mild dementia
  • can walk at least 10 metres without mobility aids 
  • speak English
  • live in Victoria (participation requires attendance at the Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn campus)

If selected to participate, you will be put into one of two groups.

  • Music therapy group - total participation = 18 hours (twice a week for 8 weeks),
  • Non-music therapy group - total participation = 3 hours (1.5 hours at both week 1 and week 10).

If you are interested in participating or would like further information, [please contact Benjamin Slade (contact details below)

Study Address
This study will be conducted at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Victoria.
Full Name
Benjamin Slade
Swinburne University of Technology
Phone Number