Ashford Phoenix (Kent)
This group wanted to find out whether people with dementia benefited more from learning a new musical instrument than from just being participants in music sessions. They planned, organised and took part in twelve music sessions, facilitated by a local musician. They learned the ukulele and composed a piece of original music. At each session they completed before and after questionnaires relating to their mood and cognition. They also took part in focus groups at the beginning, middle and end of the project. One-to-one interviews were also completed at the halfway stage of the sessions.
The results showed a positive effect immediately after sessions on group members’ mood, but not a change in cognition between sessions. Focus group and interview data indicated the project has given group members a focus, and de-stigmatised the idea that people with dementia cannot achieve goals or learn new skills.