Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate


This thesis explores the development and implementation of a music therapy method with an individual diagnosed with dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) receiving home hospice services. There is very little known about the effect of music therapy on patients diagnosed with DLB. Informed by Tom Kitwood’s Person-Centered Care (PCC) philosophy for dementia care, Yumiko Sato’s Musical Life Review (MLR) model, and Lisa Kelly and Bill Ahessy’s Reminiscence-Focused Music Therapy (RFMT) model, a clinical method was developed to explore the effects of person-centered music therapy on reminiscence, caregiver connection, and identity. I drew inspiration from music therapy concepts by Tony Wigram as well as Hanne Mette Ochsner Ridder’s utilization of acoustic cueing with patients with dementia. Over a period of five weeks, I conducted five sessions each lasting forty-five minutes to an hour. Data were collected in the form of personal reflections and summaries of the method technique as well as recorded musical reflections. Inductive analysis was carried out for each reflection and summary. Themes from reflections and summaries were cross referenced with Tom Kitwood’s flower of psychological needs to further observe what occurred and assess how the method functioned within the PCC framework. Results suggest that person-centered music therapy can assist in promoting reminiscence, addressing psychological needs, and creating connection with a caregiver. In addition, the act of simple reminiscence allowed for the preservation of participant identity and personhood, and empowered him to hold and share his own lived experiences.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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