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ReminiSing – exploring participant perspective sand reflecting on the creation of community-based choirs for people living with dementia and their family supporters

Summary: The power of music to support people living with dementia is becoming more and more recognised, both in research and the media. While much of the research focuses on music for ‘symptom management’ on an individual level, there are a number of community-based group music programs emerging that aim to support both people living with dementia and carers. This paper will discuss results from a research project that saw the creation of the ReminiSing choirs – therapeutic, community-based choirs for people living with dementia and carers, led by two registered music therapists. The perspectives of the choir participants  will be discussed, as well as the successes and challenges we experienced in establishing the choirs.

Method: Participants from two ReminiSing choirs were interviewed about their experience using a semi-structured format. Interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. 

Findings: The final data analysis is still being completed, however, preliminary results suggest that participants reported that the ReminiSing choirs provided opportunities for social support, learning new skills, and had a positive impact on their mood. The researchers also reflect on the challenges and successes in forming the community-based group, including recruiting members, finding funding, and the design of the choirs. 

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