Joanna Parsons

Reconstructing the Boundaries of Dementia: Clinical Improvisation as a Musically Mindful Experience in Long Term Care

Joanna Parsons

Abstract


This study explores the use of clinical improvisation with clients either showing symptoms of or having a diagnosis of dementia (related symptoms, e.g. social isolation, depression, disorientation, and cognitive deterioration). Many studies have been completed on the use of music therapy with this population; however few have focused on improvisation. This study is unique in that it explores the experiences of improvisation with a focus on musical analysis and meaning. Through a qualitative study of eight weekly sessions with six different female clients, this investigation aims to offer a rich description of moments of improvised music in relation to characteristics that often deteriorate with dementia. A discussion on the transcendence of certain boundaries of dementia through the natural qualities of mindfulness that exist within a musical experience is provided.


Keywords


dementia; clinical improvisation; music analysis; neurodegenerative boundaries; mindfulness; musical values; well being; health

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v18i2.943

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