Exciting new research project on music and dementia launching in Edinburgh

14th February 2024

Music in Hospitals & Care is excited to be working with the Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Lived Experience of Dementia (ECRED), which is based at the University of Edinburgh.

About the project

The project is titled IMAGINED: Investigating Meaning-making and the cocreation of Guidelines for Evaluation IN Arts for Dementia. It will aim to look at how people living with dementia engage with arts projects, including music and dance, and whether these activities are meaningful to those who participate. Building on this, the project will explore how to evaluate these activities in view of experiences of health and wellbeing.

This will be a two year project running from November 2023 to November 2025, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

How Music in Hospitals & Care fits in

Music in Hospitals & Care has worked with a range of partners around music and dementia, such as:

  • Rights Made Real in Care Homes delivered in partnership with Scottish Care and the University of the West of Scotland, bringing live music to those with dementia within a rights-based approach
  • Alzheimer’s Society, bringing Singing for the Brain singing sessions to those with dementia.

Research carried out as part of our dementia work has shown that live music concerts in care settings have decreased levels of agitation and anti-social behaviour, and increased wellbeing for families (Shibazaki & Marshall, 2015) and those living with dementia (Shibazaki & Marshall, 2016).

Over the next six months, Music in Hospitals & Care will deliver 36 live music sessions during the project at care homes in Edinburgh and Glasgow who are participating in Rights Made Real, and in Newcastle at an Age UK Day Centre.

ECRED will also work with Scottish Ballet around dance and meaning-making for health and wellbeing.

The project is led by Dr Katey Warran, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Deputy Director of ECRED. Other partners organisations are Scottish Ballet, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and the University of Florida.

A coproduction group has been invited to follow the project closely and will meet for the first time on 9 May. This consists of eight members including people with lived experience of dementia, informal carers and arts practitioners will follow the project closely.

We look forward to sharing more on the project as it happens.

Share on

Make a donation

Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.