MUSIC & DEMENTIA

As some of you may remember, I recently asked for the congregation’s help with a school project, called a Scottish Baccalaureate project, on the effect of music on those living with dementia. I recently completed this project and thought
you may be interested to read the results.

I conducted two surveys for the project, one of care home managers and one of relatives of those with dementia to gather their thoughts on whether music benefited them. The results overwhelmingly showed that people have observed
that music helps those with dementia in many ways, such as improving mood, awareness and engagement with others. As this was a science-based project, I read scientific journal articles to see if current research supported my findings. The
articles seemed to find the same effect, however, the research is ongoing as to why this is the case. One GP which I spoke to suggested it could be due to endorphin hormones, which have a healing effect on the body, being released when
participating in musical activities - especially when singing in a group during a church service! I was able to find out about many different initiatives in the local area designed to help those living with dementia using music. I have produced
a leaflet, that can be found in the church, which details these, if you are interested.

I really enjoyed doing this project and I would like to thank everyone who helped me with it as I am in no doubt that it will benefit me in many ways through life and my future studies in psychology.

Emma Macrae