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Music for My Mind


Music for my Mind arose from Professor Keith McAdam’s experiences of playing music to patients in the HIV waiting room of the Infectious Diseases Institute he ran in Uganda, 2004-7. Music also helps people living with dementia and the use of technology for rapid development of individually tailored playlists is completely innovative.

People living with dementia, even when unable to recognise their loved ones, can respond happily to music from their teenage years. In collaboration with a well known music streaming company and an app developer, we have an app that will deliver personalised digital music playlists, selected by electronic monitoring.

Our goals:

  • The first objective is to compile individual favourite music playlists for people living with dementia by measuring emotional responses to music, initially by direct observation.
  • To compare wearable physiological sensors (Empatica4 measures movement, pulse rate and volume, temperature and skin conductance) with analysis of facial expressions recorded photographically during exposure to music
  • To work with affected families in two care homes, one in Redbourn and one nearby in Sandridge, to use this innovation with facial recognition techniques by 2018, with the option of extending availability to other care homes in the area
£25k project Currently ranked in

How we will achieve our goals

The community award will allow us to develop the use of Face Reader software to detect emotional responses to music, a more reliable and faster approach than we have been able to use in initial studies. With support from community volunteers and families affected, we believe we can develop a new electronic approach for use within 12 months

Where the money will go

The project’s simplicity and promises of collaborations already in place mean that, with funding of £25,000, people living with dementia in two care homes could be using this innovation by 2018, with possible extension to other local care homes. The benefits brought will improve the lives not only of the dementia sufferers but also their families

Comments (10)

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  1. Posted on August 16, 2017

    A very worth-while project, I wish it every success

  2. Posted on August 16, 2017

    Thank you for your kind words. I nominated this project because I know from personal experience just how much it can mean to so many people. Its novelty and success is down to the exploitation of modern technology to produce the personalised playlists that bring such relief and happiness to family and friends as well as to the people living with dementia.

  3. Posted on August 28, 2017

    Pleased to support this project.

  4. Posted on September 4, 2017

    This could bring a great deal of comfort to dementia sufferers. Much needed.

  5. Posted on September 4, 2017

    Well worth while. Good luck!

  6. Posted on September 4, 2017

    What a wonderful idea. Music heals and helps us throughout our lives. Thank you.

  7. Posted on September 5, 2017

    An excellent project. You have my wholehearted support. In the past I have used music with disturbed adolescents and in tutoring advice from the ‘Learning Revolution.

  8. Posted on September 5, 2017

    I have witnessed the amazing responses that music so often provokes in the dementia patient.
    I have seen how this particular project seeks to implement this.
    This project cannot fail to benefit our society and I hope it finds the necessary funding to do so.

  9. Posted on September 5, 2017

    My mother- in- law had dementia , music became the only way for the family to reach her in the last years. What a brilliant project , I am sure it will be successful

  10. Posted on September 8, 2017

    This is a truly wonderful work – we have seen it work in several parts of the world

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