Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Dr. John Coggiola

Honors Reader

Dr. Elisa Dekaney

Capstone Major

Music Education

Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Music | Music Education | Other Music


Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects a person’s memory and cognitive functioning ability. Millions of Americans are currently suffering from this disease and the number will continue to grow as life expectancy increases for the general population. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and treatment options are limited. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate new ways to improve the quality of life and care provided for these individuals. Research in music therapy has generated promising results suggesting that music can be an effective intervention when caring for Alzheimer’s patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of live and recorded music presentation on stimulated behaviors in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Sixteen persons with moderate to moderately-severe stage Alzheimer’s disease residing in a long-term care facility were participants in this study. Each participant was exposed to two sessions of familiar American folk music. For one session the music was presented using a recording of a pianist. For the other session, a performer with a keyboard was present. Agitated and stimulated behaviors of the participants were observed and recorded using SCRIBE observation software and a modified version of the Agitated Behavior Scale. For the majority of participants, no significant difference in agitation and stimulation levels was found between the two conditions. Implications of these results for activity programming in residential care facilities are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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