Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Identify 3 residents that would benefit from this intervention.
  2. State 3 ways of supporting the resident to take part in this intervention.
  3. List 3 musical instruments that a resident with dementia might enjoy playing.
  4. Name 3 songs or pieces of music that residents in this facility might enjoy.

Time 45 Min.

  • 20 min. Video on use of music for residents with dementia.
  • 15 min. Simulated Big Band Musical program.
  • 10 min. Discussion/questionnaire


  1. Obtain and review appropriate video, prepare lecture, questionnaire (PDF, 481.77, 2pg.), use guidelines and sample format (PDF, 22KB, 3pg.) as a guide and for handouts.
  2. Check video in VCR, setup, starting and stopping points of film.
  3. Obtain appropriate musical instruments matched to in house resident abilities. Large print song sheets matching songs on tape.
  4. Obtain or make your own music tape with songs your residents enjoy. Use sample format as a guide.
  5. Post announcement for all staff and volunteers. (Could use "Enhancing Quality of Life Through Music" or "A Song to Set Me Free" theme).
  6. Arrange chairs in a semi-circle of 6 chairs at front of room


  1. Play video and explain program using handouts to illustrate main points.
  2. Ask for the group's cooperation in being supportive as you demonstrate how to facilitate a Big Band music group.
  3. Ask for 5-6 volunteers to be "residents" who are in the middle phase of dementia and do not participate unless engaged by staff; and one facilitator to make eye contact with and engage "resident-participants" to participate. (Could hand out papers with resident or facilitator written on them to six people in the group as they come in).
  4. Give instruments to "volunteer" facilitator to distribute to residents offering them a choice. If a "resident" refuses to take one, that is fine. If a "resident" starts acting up, call on a participant to be her primary caregiver and have her sit next to her to try to calm her.
  5. Demonstrate facilitating a Big Band group using the sample format as a guide.
  6. Ask onlookers to act as participants outside the targeted group and participate in whatever way they feel comfortable such as by: clapping, tapping feet, humming, singing.
  7. Start music. Set timer for 10 min. or appoint timekeeper.
  8. Circulate from "resident to resident" demonstrating making eye contact and encouraging "residents" to share the music
  9. Start discussion asking questions on the questionnaire to "resident and facilitator" volunteers and then of the group.
  10. Ask staff to complete questions 6-10 on the questionnaire and hand in.
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