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Image by Ashkan Forouzani

Connecting The Dots

So many great things going on 

Since adding a simple web page for Drumming for Dementia, we have crossed paths with some amazing people who are doing great things in the world of Percussion Therapy - either in practice or in research. 

We are adding to this page, both people and research to expand awareness and dialogue. 

If you are doing work in this area, please reach out as we are expanding this list to create awareness at this common intersection among the work that so many people are doing. 

Vicky McClure from Our Dementia Choir in the UK, estimates that only 5% of care homes use music effectively, and stacked up against the incredible work and results by so many, we see a significant opportunity for percussion therapy to bring moments of peace and engagement to those who are suffering with Dementia.


Links to: 
People and programs | News Articles | Science Based Research  

People and Programs 

The following are some amazing people and programs which we have come across. 

Respectful Beats / Steve Benedetto
Based out of Massachusetts, Steve has developed a unique drum based percussion therapy program.  Steve has hosted approximately 1,000 sessions with seniors in care homes.  With Respectful beats the participants have bongo drums to play long while Steve leads on his drum kit, along to music which he curates for each session based on the era of there participants.  Steve has also developed a very well structured warm up and cool down exercises to engage the participants.  
We had a great conversation with Steve and he has so many examples of seeing how percussion therapy cuts through so many other things and connects with the people who he works with. 

Steve has written some interesting articles such as Drumming Helps Dementia Patients 

Clem Burke Drumming Project

The Clem Burke Drumming Project (CBDP) was founded in 2008 by Dr Clem Burke (drummer, Blondie), Professor Steve Draper (Hartpury University) and Professor Marcus Smith (University of Chichester).


What initially set out to examine the physiological demands of playing ‘live’ during one-off (i.e. Glastonbury) and multiple gigs (i.e. World Tour) has grown into exploring the physical, mental and health benefits of drumming.


The finding’s from our pioneering work, using the latest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, can be accessed via the RESEARCH tab.

Nature Therapy Online - Dr Kim Brown

Nature therapy online is a nationally accredited training provider.  They deliver unique and engaging projects aimed at building sensory resilience. Kim has been involved in numerous research projects and is currently has a grant for a research program via Bornmouth University which will be completed in the near future. 

Heather Davidson, MA,MT-BC

Music Therapist, Drum Circle Facilitator

Here is a YouTube video featuring heather. 

Heather also recommends the book “Alive with Alzheimer’s” by Cathy Stein Greenblat.  This books also has a chapter about the work Heather did at Silverado Senior Living in California. 


Tom Maisey, Drumming Out Dementia 

Tom is currently developing a product to take to market with the support of Alzheimer's Society as a partner.  


Toms product development is highlighted in the UK Alzheimer's society website under "innovative product" and also highlighted on his website at

Our Dementia Choir

Our Dementia Choir’ began as part of a documentary created for BBC. The two part series saw acclaimed actress Vicky McClure take us on a deeply personal journey where she sets out to discover the true extent of music’s power in combatting dementia

Beat It Percussion

Promoting Well-Being & Good Mental Health Through Rhythm & Sound

How to Keep Time: A Drum Solo for Dementia

visit website

Using just his voice and a Roland TD-4KP electric drumkit, Antosh Wojcik explores the effects of dementia on speech, memory and family through the moving story of his Polish grandfather. Poems become beats become glitches in a mesmeric display of live drumming and spoken word.

Beat It Music and Movement - Jo Cook 

Visit website
Jo is a qualified school music teacher with a Bachelor of Music and Diploma in Education (secondary). She has worked in the school system for over 20 years as an instrument tutor, band conductor and classroom music teacher. From a basic understanding of neuroplasticity and being involved in a research project about 'Music Mind and Movement' Jo created a therapeutic music and movement program with the aim to increase the quality of life of people in aged care and people with a disability. This is achieved through both challenging and using the whole brain. In this program participants are engaged socially, physically and cognitively while playing instruments and moving to music familiar to them.

Science Based Research 

We have come across the following research reports on Percussion Therapy for Dementia

(2021) Group Music Intervention Using Percussion Instruments to Reduce Anxiety Among Elderly Male Veterans with Alzheimer Disease. Link

(2020) Drum Communication Program Intervention in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment and Dementia at Nursing Home: Preliminary Evidence From Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Link

(2017) Effects of Movement Music Therapy With a Percussion Instrument on Physical and Frontal Lobe Function in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment- A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Link

(2019) A ‘Music, Mind and Movement’ Program for People With Dementia: Initial Evidence of Improved Cognition. Link

Music evoked autobiographical memories in people with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. Link 

A 'Music, Mind and Movement' Program for People With Dementia: Initial Evidence of Improved Cognition. Link 

Brains work in sync during music therapy. Link 


Music For Dementia (UK Research).  Link 

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