Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (1.17 MB)

How does a music therapy student work to facilitate reminiscence and memory in dementia patients

Download (1.17 MB)
Version 2 2023-09-25, 02:08
Version 1 2021-11-15, 22:22
posted on 2023-09-25, 02:08 authored by Sun, I-Chen

This study was prompted in response to increased interest in, and demand for, music therapy provision in improving quality of care for dementia patients. It is an exploration of the strategies to facilitate memory and reminiscence in persons with dementia, and considers the need for those preparing for end of life to recall identities, connect with family and others, and express feelings. This research is a qualitative study involving secondary analysis of clinical data from my clinical practice and identifies the strategies, techniques and procedures that I applied in my clinical work to stimulate preserved memory ‘islands’. The findings show that familiarity is central in enabling a remembering process, and music can have unique ways of accessing memory in people with limited cognitive and social abilities. Eight core categories of music therapy strategies were found to be helpful in enabling memory and reminiscence. This study includes examples of both individual and group music therapy. The objective of this study was to examine my music therapy practice, and potentially provide some beneficial ideas and insights to other music therapists working on memory and reminiscence with dementia patients.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-SA 4.0

Degree Discipline

Music Therapy

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music Therapy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Rickson, Daphne; Hoskyns, Sarah