Dr Renee Timmers, Lecturer in the psychology of Music at the University of Sheffield, tells us about her project which is being delivered in collaboration colleague Professor Stephanie Pitts.
Students on the MA in Psychology of Music will visit a dementia care ward and conduct a research project on responses to and uses of music in the ward. This project will build on existing research on uses of music in everyday life for social and emotional purposes, and investigate in what ways music can indeed be of value for elderly people suffering from dementia. Rather than demonstrating the benefit of music, the aim will be to explore ways in which music is used to address emotional and social needs of people with dementia living in a care home. This will be done primarily through interviews and observations.
The project is part of the students’ training in qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Engaged Curriculum funding allows them to look beyond the ‘lab’ and the university and to do applied ‘real-life’ research. The funding will be used to organise training to prepare students to go into a care home, and to set up an infrastructure to continue the research in future years. The research will be designed in consultation with the care home in February. Data collection and analysis will follow in March and April 2015. More details on this project will be made available as it progresses.