Interpersonal Music Skills in Dementia Care

Become more confident in your musical interactions, and more capable of providing consistent supportive music care for the person(s) in your life with dementia.

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Music has a way of bringing people together, helping them interact nonverbally, and enjoy a shared experience in “real time.” Music can provide an avenue to express feelings, retrieve lost memories, and enhance our mood and uplift us. Even when someone has difficulty managing conversation or other communications, they may still be able to communicate through their “musical voice” which doesn’t need words.

Upon completion of this course, students will learn to be able to:

  • Self- assessment for you as a caregiver and persons with dementia.
  • Unpacking strengths and needs of the individual with dementia for whom you are caring .
  • Learn Music skills for Rhythm, harmony, melody, accompaniment .
  • How to put your interpersonal music skills to use.
  • How to taking care of yourself .


Course Curriculum


  PART ONE: Being a Dementia Care Partner
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  PART TWO: Assessing your Musical and Personal Strengths
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  PART THREE: Assessing the strengths and abilities of the Person with Dementia
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  PART FOUR: Working with Rhythm
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  PART FIVE: Accompaniment for the Voice
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  PART SIX: Understanding Symptoms and Needs of Dementia
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  PART SEVEN: Maximizing the Elevating and Calming elements of Music
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  PART EIGHT: Taking Care of Yourself
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Your Instructor


Robin Rio
Robin Rio

Robin Rio, is a board-certified music therapist with an extensive history of clinical work in long-term care as well as a 20-year career in higher education, teaching music therapy at the undergraduate and graduate levels.She also provides clinical supervision to students and interns in their field placement.

Beginning her career writing about music in dementia care in the 1990’s, Robin then continued on to write a book, “Connecting through music with people with dementia: A Guide for Caregivers” (2009). She had recently written, “A Community-Based Music Therapy Support Group for People With Alzheimer's Disease and Their Caregivers: A Sustainable Partnership Model.”

Robin Rio is a family caregiver for her mother who has advanced Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and requires the support of memory care for her daily living needs.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

This course will assist you in assessing what is your roles and responsibilities are in caring for the person in your life who is coping with a dementia diagnosis.

Get started now!