The Emerging Role of Music in Dementia Care – free public talk

The Transformative Power of Connection: The Emerging Role of Music in Dementia Care, with Dr Jane Bentley, Thurs 3 May, 6.30pm. 

Taking place at Waterford Healing Arts Trust Centre for Arts and Health, University Hospital Waterford, this talk is aimed at anyone interested in the arts and dementia care and is presented by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), in partnership with Kids Classics, Ireland’s leading music in healthcare training organisation.  Admission is free, but ticketed, as places are limited.  To book, please click here

Dr Jane Bentley
Dr Jane Bentley

Announcing details of the forthcoming talk, Claire Meaney of Waterford Healing Arts Trust said “Evidence-based research shows that just one hour per day of social interaction brings benefits to people with dementia, as a result of which more attention is being focused on finding ways to make meaningful, relational connections”.  Grainne Hope, of Kids Classics, added “Music, particularly live music, can be a powerful way to reach people with dementia.  A musician can adapt to the rhythms and emotions of a person on a moment-to-moment basis, so that music can become a shared language of relating and connecting, even at a time when words may no longer be accessible”.

Dr Jane Bentley will also lead a workshop for musicians working in healthcare earlier the same day, Thursday 3 May, from 2pm-5pm here at WHAT. Workshop fee €15.00. Places limited. More info and booking details here:

Dr Jane Bentley is a music in healthcare practitioner, consultant and trainer, based in Glasgow.  Dr Bentley was recently awarded a 2018/2019 International Leadership Fellowship with the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of California, San Francisco, to further develop the field of Music in Dementia Care.  In 2011 she was awarded the first ever PhD based on drum circles and improvisation, highlighting the effects of group music-making on human wellbeing.  Dr Bentley has brought music to elder care settings for over 15 years, and has worked in every area of mental healthcare, and with hospitalised children and adults.

Alongside her freelance career, Dr Bentley works part-time for the National Health Service in Scotland, as a musician in mental health occupational therapy services, focusing on older adults.  In 2009, Dr Bentley established the ‘Singing Memories’ group, one of Scotland’s first community singing groups for people with dementia and their carers, and has since trained many others to run groups of their own.  In 2016, she was named a ‘BBC Music Unsung Hero’ for her work in community music.  As a trainer, Dr Bentley has collaborated with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to develop and extend their work with older adults in hospitals across Scotland.  She has been involved in training musicians, music therapists, occupational therapists, nursing staff and activity co-ordinators all over the world.

Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is Ireland’s leading arts and health organisation.  Established in 1993, WHAT brings arts experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford and other healthcare settings.  WHAT supports the development of arts and health in Ireland and manages the national website

Kids’ Classics is Ireland’s leading music in healthcare training organisation and provides high quality music making opportunities in educational, healthcare and community settings.  See