‘Being Here’: Equity Through Musical Engagement with People with Dementia

  • Rineke Smilde


Participating in collaborative artistic processes can be empowering for people with dementia. It can strengthen self-awareness and a sense of belonging and inclusion. This chapter discusses the project ‘Music for Life’ of Wigmore Hall in London, where musicians engage with people with dementia and their caregivers in group settings. The project focuses on ‘the person behind the dementia’. Considering this project through the lens of the musicians’ perspectives showed learning processes that were strongly influencing musicians’ professional lives and stimulated deep reflections about their identity and motivation. The reciprocal processes that could be observed in this practice can lead to a deepened acknowledgement of human dignity through all stages of dementia, and of equity—also people living with dementia can continue to grow.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rineke Smilde
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Hanze University (Prince Claus Conservatoire)GroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of Music and Performing ArtsViennaAustria

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