SOUND project: Music to improve the quality of life of older people with dementia

The SOUND project (training SOcial and health care professionals in mUsic-based therapeutic iNterventions to support older people with Dementia) was launched in February 2022 under the coordination of IRCCS/INRCA represented by Dr. Sara Santini, Researcher at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies and Research for Ageing and violinist. Eurocarers (Belgium), Associação – Sons do Estaminé (Portugal) and Asociatia Habilitas (Romania) are also part of the project.

SOUND aims to develop a curriculum of passive and active music-making activities training for social and health care professionals and informal carers active in the area of dementia. It also seeks to produce an original music-based nonpharmacological intervention to improve the behaviour, mood, and quality of life of older people with dementia and delay as much as possible further cognitive functions decline.

Such an educational programme addresses different needs:
Those of dementia care professionals looking for more effective methods and techniques to deal with dementia patients and those of patients themselves who need to be heard and understood, via a universal language, to maintain their residual cognitive capabilities and improve their quality of life.

SOUND also targets informal carers, who need to keep on training and acquiring new competences in order to better manage their loved ones in everyday life, as well as the wider community, which can be more easily made aware and educated to accept and interact with dementia patients.

To achieve their goals, the researchers of the project will be supported by NGOs and music schools in the development of a certified training course and a series of materials, such as:

  • a training curriculum aimed at health professionals and informal carers (mostly family members) on the use of musical activities adapted to the needs of the target audience;
  •  an intervention protocol for seniors with dementia and informal carers based on Circle Activities to be co-designed with seniors;
  • a digital platform for cooperative learning, to be used by healthcare professionals, the elderly and informal carers;
  • a European awareness campaign based on the musical performances carried out during the intervention with the elderly and younger students of the music schools involved in the project, with the aim of contributing to more dementia-friendly communities.


Once trained with the SOUND method, ANS-Anziani e non solo (Carpi-Modena) and ACMO-Associazione Centro Musicale Orlandini (Ancona), the professionals of the Alzheimer Centre of IRCCS/INRCA (psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, educators, etc.) will team up to develop the experimentation in Italy. They will later guide the experimentation with end-users, in order to measure the effects of the intervention on mood, memory and cognitive functions.

The IRCCS/INRCA Director of Neurology, Dr. Giuseppe Pelliccioni, is hoping that

“the SOUND method will soon be part of the training of health professionals and that the intervention can become an integral part of the services offered to the growing elderly population affected by dementia and to their family carers “.

For more info:
Sara Santini (scientific manager):;

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