Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


School of Music

First Advisor

Andrea M Crimmins


Background: As the growing number of older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is resort to living in residential care facilities, this population requires purposeful activities in which they can improve and maintain their quality of life. Studies have shown that music therapy positively influences older adults in typical settings such as hospice or other residential care facilities, by providing a source of investigation in to the reminiscing aspect of their memory.

Purpose: This study targets the qualitative and quantitative values of reminiscing responses by comparing the data received from a non-musical baseline response, an original artist recorded musical response, and a live therapist delivered musical response. Prior to this study, there has not been former research conducted on comparing the effects of live therapist delivered music to original artist recorded music on these reminiscing responses of older adults diagnosed with middle-stage Alzheimer’s.

Method: A music therapy graduate student facilitated all three conditions with four female participants in this study. Participants were randomly assigned treatment conditions. All sessions were audio recorded for manual transcription by two certified transcriptionists. All transcriptions were processed through the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software system to compare the quality and quantity of the reminiscing responses across nineteen variables. Averages between the two copies of transcriptions were followed by a two-tallied t-test in order to analyze the significance between the conditions.

Results: Live therapist delivered music produced the most words reminisced compared to the original artist recorded condition and the non-musical baseline condition, however original artist recorded music had higher responses in eight of the nineteen variables assessed.

Conclusion: Although only two variables had a statistical difference between conditions, recorded music elicited more words per variable than the live music condition and the non-musical condition. Further research will determine if there is a greater difference in overall responses between the two methods of music delivery to older adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

KEYWORDS: Music Therapy; Reminiscing; Episodic Memory; Alzheimer’s; Live Music; Recorded Music; Quality of Life; Elderly Adults


Imported from Schneekloth_ilstu_0092N_11585.pdf


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