man with drum
Project Type - Pilot Projects, Artistic Initiatives

Rhythm for Life

Training for creative musical interaction in dementia
Western Europe


This project aims to produce a training programme to improve the quality and accessibility of musical activity in dementia care. The project will: 1. undertake a literature and scoping review of drumming with people with dementia, 2. adapt an existing evidence-based drumming and health protocol for engagement with people with dementia, 3. test proof of concept by delivering eight sessions of the protocol with people with dementia 4. develop and pilot a 2-day training course to teach facilitators of the adapted protocol 5. engage in dissemination activities aimed at activating potential within the music industry to create adaptive musical resources for people with dementia

Project Details

The training course will be developed in collaboration with a music industry partner – REMO drums, who were responsible for devising the original HealthRhythms evidence-based protocol. The resulting 2-day training programme will be aimed at two principal audiences:

  1. Care professionals who wish to bring more participative musical activity into their environments
  2. Music professionals who wish to work with people with dementia.

Projected outcomes include:

  • Delivery of an eight-session adapted prototype
  • Delivery of two, 2-day trainings, one in the UK, one in the USA
  • 50 newly trained rhythm facilitators
  • Dissemination workshops at three major conferences – one dementia-related, one music-specific, and one ageing-specific
  • Written material for publication in industry and popular media

Collaboration with the REMO drum company means that project dissemination is maximized, through continued hosting and on their website, and promotion of future training courses. There is considerable potential for further collaboration in doing a fuller research study surrounding the protocol; developing dementia-accessible instruments; and adapting the training for online and international use.