The Power of Music Pilot Study

Beatie Wolfe - Power of Music and Dementia - Porto carehome performance.jpg

Teaming up with The Utley Foundation, the former marketing director of HSBC, the Priory Care Home Group and 20/20 Research, Beatie set out the following objective to conduct a research tour with the aim of looking at the power of music, outside of memory

Beatie performed her original music at a series of Priory Group care homes across the UK. Residents were monitored during the live performance by carers & doctors and in the weeks following, listening to the same songs on headsets. This study ran for four months and is the first of its kind to test the impact of novel music (unconnected to past and memory) for those living with dementia. Highlight responses include “over 72% responding to the music in meaningful ways e.g. singing along, clapping, tapping” and significant improvements in memory and communication across the 6-month period that the study ran. Some of the amazing reactions to the music were captured in this documentary video:

To name a few breakthrough moments:

  • Anne, who had not spoken in 7 months, started singing along to songs that she had never heard before
  • David’s family had stopped visiting because it was too painful. The carers were hopeful that the music would produce some sign of engagement that they could share with David’s family to say “he’s still here”. Before the music began, nothing could rouse David. Then within the first few bars of the first song, David’s arm started to move, in perfect time to the music. Then his eyes went wide. Later in the set he got up and he danced
  • Edna was besides herself with grief, feeling "worthless" and alone in a room full of people. At the start of the music she sat sobbing uncontrollably but during the performance she quickly found her confidence and transformed into a joyful state, clapping and singing along
Music is a fantastic way of communicating and expressing themselves and has been evident here today
— Asa Johnson, Anchor Care Group
We witnessed the powerful effect and joy that music can have on those in different stages of dementia
— Stephen Amos, The Priory Group
  all made possible with these fantastic folk!

all made possible with these fantastic folk!