Music & Dementia

The Music & Dementia programme is for people with dementia and other cognitive disorders, within residential care and day-care locations. The aim is to improve the well-being of people with dementia. The sessions increase their well-being, improve their mood and reduce problem behaviour. We also see that after a number of workshops, people’s memories are stimulated and – most especially - new musical memories are created. In addition, it increases job satisfaction and offers insight and skills for carers.

Target group



Embrace Nederland has developed the innovative Music & Dementia programme with the aim of improving the well-being of people with dementia. 

We do this in nursing homes and day-care centres for people with dementia and their carers. 

We provide interactive music workshops based on improvised music, following the example of Music for Life in London.

With specially developed training courses, we give (care) staff and informal caregivers tools to integrate music into daily care practice. We always involve experts who are active within the location, such as music therapists, activity coordinators and local professional and amateur musicians.

A workshop series for people with a form of dementia consists of eight sessions. Each session lasts approximately one hour. 

The musicians of Embrace Nederland improvise melodies and compositions especially for this group. The residents are encouraged to participate and also lead the music-making.

Who participates?
Eight to ten residents with a form of dementia can participate. At least three professional musicians are involved in the workshops. The number of (care)workers is negotiated with the home.

For people with dementia:

  • Increase well-being, both short and long term 
  • Better eating and sleeping.
  • Less "problem behavior"
  • Easier contact

For care staff & volunteer carers

  • Easier connection with people with a form of dementia.
  • Better working atmosphere.
  • Facilitates daily activities such as eating, showering, going to bed or administering medication.
  • More job satisfaction, less stress
  • Employees gain more self-confidence to develop their own musical talent and musical leadership.

What is the philosophy behind the Music & Dementia workshop?

What does a Music & Dementia workshop entail? Watch it here: