The Roth Project - Music and Memory: A Community Agency Initiated Individualized Music Intervention for People with Dementia

  • Emmali Buller
  • Phillip K. Martin
  • Anthony Stabler
  • Breana Tucker
  • Jenna Smith
  • Lindsey Norton
  • Ryan W. Schroeder
Keywords: music therapy, dementia, memory disorders, community-based participatory research



“The Roth Project - Music and Memory” is a music based intervention program, implemented by the Alzheimer’s Association of Central and Western Kansas, which provides a nonpharmacological
means for addressing neuropsychiatric symptoms in individuals with dementia.


Participants were individuals with dementia who were enrolled in The Roth Project - Music and Memory. Post-intervention surveys were distributed to caregivers of participants which assessed caregiver satisfaction with the program as well as caregiver perception of the impact of individualized music on mood and behavioral


Of returned surveys (n = 79), 99% of caregivers indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the program and 94% of caregivers perceived participants to like or very much like listening to the music. While a substantial number of participants required assistance with iPod use (95%), the majority of participants were observed to listen to the music with stable or increased frequency over time. Personalized music was observed to improve mood in 78% of cases, with the most frequent benefits being improved overall happiness, decreased anxiety, increased positive emotional expression, and decreased depression.


The Roth Project - Music and Memory was well received by caregivers and was perceived to benefit mood of individuals with dementia. These results provided ongoing support for individualized music-based interventions and demonstrated that such interventions, when implemented by community agencies, can be well received by those who use them.

Original Research