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Studies show a positive link between active music making and cognitive resilience in older age.

We know that the social impact of music and musical activities can have considerable effect on the well-being of residents in care homes and hospitals, however there are also studies* suggesting that

"the cognitive benefits associated with musical ability may grant older musicians better cognitive reserve... Music processing is unique in that it necessitates a wide array of brain regions and functions simultaneously throughout both hemispheres.

It is  most likely that individuals who play as older adults learned to play earlier in life and are lifelong musicians. However if these musicians began playing as older adults, our results indicate that playing a musical instrument has a positive effect on neuroplasticity regardless of what age one begins playing. This suggestion is supported by a previous study** which found that after six months of piano lessons older adults experienced better working memory and executive functioning controls.

In conclusion our results support a consideration of music's potential role as a nonpharmalogical, non-invasive and modifiable health behaviour, protective against dementia and cognitive impairment. 

*Playing a Musical Instrument as a Protective Factor against Dementia and Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Twin Study © 2014 M. Alison Balbag, Nancy L Pedersen and Margaret Gatz

** Aging and Mental Health, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 464–471, 2007. J. A. Bugos, W. M. Perlstein, C. S. McCrae,

T. S. Brophy and P. H. Bedenbaugh, “Individualized piano instruction enhances executive functioning

and working memory in older adults.”


  • Client centred approach, tailoring sessions to their musical experience and preference

  • Opportunities for maintaining good finger dexterity, breath control, sequencing / patterns, reading music and aural memory and playing, memory.

  • A quality and enjoyable experience releasing dopamine and improving a sense of well being.

  • Social interaction and a friendly face, giving clients who feel isolated or lonely something to look forward to each week

  • Music sessions led by a well informed musician with many years teaching and performing experience. 

  • Current knowledge of how music can have a positive effect on ageing and dementia.




" I look forward to my sessions every week, knowing that I am still learning something new, playing my old favourites and having a friendly face to chat about music to."

Playing piano and learning to read music can be a useful intervention in older adults to promote cognitive reserve (resilience to the effects of ageing) and improve well-being. Seinfeld, Figueroa, Ortiz-Gil, & Sanchez-Vives, 2013

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