Janice spoke about her research on music therapy for people with dementia. This research focuses on the use of music to improve the quality of life for both the person with dementia and their carer. As Janice says, selecting music ‘that fits the person’ is central to the success of kind of support. Janice’s research was participatory, and so the participants in her research chose the songs that they would like to listen to. In order for the music therapy to have an impact, the music should be familiar to the person with dementia. By including carers in this research, Janice was able to support the selection of music that was important to both the carer and the participant in the project.
As Janice says, ‘the beauty of is that it sparks off all over the brain’. This means that it can provoke memories from 40 and 50 years ago. Janice talked about the importance of music for linking people to significant periods in their life – first love, marriage, their first house. At the end of the interview, she selects a song which is important to her own life: Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye‘. Well done, Janice!