Welcome to Music for Dementia

At Music for Dementia we seek to bring a new music therapy to Dementia sufferers throughout New Zealand. The results of this technique can be seen in the inspiring documentary Alive Inside, which chronicles the work of Dan Cohen who pioneered the therapy in 2006 in the US. Sufferers are provided with individually tailored music tracks of personal significance to listen to on headphones from a personal mp3 player. This meaningful music stimulates the brain to retrieve memories previously thought lost and frequently helps sufferers to reconnect with their loved ones.

In many cases, people who have been unresponsive for years have been ‘brought back’ after hearing the music of their youth. (View the stunning video of 96 year-old Henry below.) Others are calmer, happier, more communicative and livelier when listening to ‘their’ music. Regular use of this significant music (at least 1 hour/day) helps sufferers to remain in their own homes far longer than would be possible otherwise.


Our aim is to bring this deceptively simple but amazingly effective therapy to people with Dementia whether they are based in a residential care home, hospital or family home.

We seek to raise awareness of the technique, encourage its uptake in care homes and hospitals and provide training, equipment, and support for sufferers and their caregivers in their own homes.


The original group has now become a registered Charitable Trust based in Dunedin and we are currently working in collaboration with Alzheimers Otago to provide personalised music to people with Dementia living in our local community. So far the results have been most encouraging and our clients and their families have appreciated the opportunity to try out this technique. We are also working with local care homes to encourage their uptake of this impressive therapy.

We invite care homes and other organisations with an interest in the well-being of Dementia sufferers and their families to contact us for further information on this inexpensive but highly effective therapy. We would be happy to visit and/or give a presentation to any organisation with a sincere interest in learing more about personalised music therapy.


Although at present we are only active in the Dunedin area, we welcome any enquiries or feedback at the e-mail address below regardless of geography.  We would also like to hear from anyone who feels inspired to join us or become a volunteer or who could ‘spread the word’ about this life-changing technique.


Please contact: info@musicfordementia.org.nz with any queries you might have and please also share this website with friends, family and colleagues.

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