Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Lead at least 3 types of rhythm activities.
  2. State at least 3 ways in which therapeutic rhythm activities benefit residents.
  3. Demonstrate at least 3 techniques to maintain attention of residents with dementia.
  4. Demonstrate at least 2 proper techniques of playing a hand drum and/or other instruments.
  5. State at least 3 ways rhythm activities benefit the nursing home staff/environment.



  1. Set up DVD.
  2. Gather instruments (preferably ones most commonly used by dementia residents.)
  3. Arrange chairs in a circle.


  1. Open the in-service by going through the Point Sheet, which describes the benefits of rhythm with dementia residents. Turn some of the points into questions so as to get more participation from the group and to promote discussion and ideas directly applicable to your patient population.
  2. Play DVD.
  3. Ask for comments on DVD. How did residents seem to benefit from the rhythm activities? How did staff/caregivers seem to benefit from the rhythm activities?
  4. Pass out instruments.
  5. Demonstrate facilitating a therapeutic rhythm group. Lead at least 3 different types of rhythm activities. Click here for a list of types of Rhythm Activities in Music for Dementia, (PDF, 36KB, 1pg.)
  6. Be sure to engage every participant, swapping leaders often so everyone gets a chance to stand up and lead the group at least once.
  7. When group is over, ask for reactions on how it felt to lead, to play as a group, how participants feel physically, mentally, emotionally after participating in therapeutic rhythm activities. Discuss how a resident might benefit after participating in rhythm activities.