Man with dementia playing the drum

Music therapy and dementia

Nordoff Robbins is the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK. We can help people with dementia to live well through the specialist use of music.

How can Nordoff Robbins music therapy help?

Dementia can be very frightening for the person involved, and those who care for them. It is very normal for people living with dementia to feel a sense of anxiety and confusion, as their memory and sense of self becomes increasingly affected. Even as the brain deteriorates, the capacity to respond to and become engaged in music survives, which makes music therapy a highly effective and beneficial support tool.

Whatever the stage of dementia, our music-centred approach enables our therapists to sensitively work with, and respond to, what the person can do, listening to their movement, breathing and vocal sounds. Music can help ease anxiety and disorientation, unlock memories, reduce isolation and help people regain their sense of identity. This helps create a profound feeling of being ‘connected’ – something so valuable to people living with dementia, and their family and friends.

Music therapy for people living with dementia

How is Nordoff Robbins music therapy delivered? 

All our music therapists have successfully graduated from an accredited UK postgraduate training course. Our Master of Music Therapy programme is validated by Goldsmiths, University of London, and our therapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. We tailor our music therapy services to focus on the individual needs of the people we support, and the organisations we work with.

We adopt a tailor-made approach, and our therapists work closely with the individual’s wider support team ensuring that our music therapy meets the needs of the people we work with, and complements their overall care plan. Nordoff Robbins music therapy can take the form of group or individual sessions, structured around the needs of the individual or group of people. Using a range of instruments, including the voice, our highly skilled therapists engage people in improvised, shared music-making, often encouraging family, carers and staff to share in the experience. Our therapists aim to enhance the whole musical life of an organisation, and enrich the wellbeing of everyone around them.

Nordoff Robbins has brought music back into my mother’s life and it’s through music that we have found a way to remember the good times, have fun and see her in a way that we will always want to remember her.

– Betty

How to refer someone for music therapy

Our mission is to provide music therapy to anyone whose quality of life could be improved by it.

If you think that you, a family member or someone you care for could benefit from music therapy, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Hear more from us

If you would like to know more about music therapy and our services, including how we work with people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, please sign up here

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