Image shown: Dr Jane Bentley.

Music in healthcare specialist Dr Jane Bentley will lead a CPD workshop for musicians entitled Making Meaningful Connections Through Music: A spectrum of possibilities for working with people with dementia at Waterford Healing Arts Trust Centre, University Hospital Waterford on Thursday 3 May from 2-5pm. 

This workshop is suitable for musicians with experience of working in healthcare settings and is presented by Kids’ Classics, Ireland’s leading music in healthcare training organisation, in partnership with Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT).

Admission is €15. Booking via Eventbrite here.
Advance booking recommended as places are limited.
For further information see or phone (051) 842664.

Why this workshop?
Evidence-based research shows that music, particularly live music, can be a powerful way to reach people with dementia. A trained musician can adapt to the rhythms and emotions of a person on a moment-to-moment basis, so that music can become a shared language of relating and connecting, even at a time when words may no longer be accessible.

Through this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand a spectrum of musical activity, including listening, personalised performance, individual and group interaction and how to choose the most appropriate activity for a setting
  • Learn how to adapt musical performance and activity for people at different stages of dementia
  • Learn about creating non-verbal interactions through music.

Dr Jane Bentley is a music in healthcare practitioner, consultant and trainer, based in Glasgow. Dr Bentley was recently awarded a 2018/2019 International Leadership Fellowship with the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of California, San Francisco, to further develop the field of Music in Dementia Care. In 2011, she was awarded the first ever PhD based on drum circles and improvisation, highlighting the effects of group music-making on human wellbeing. Dr Bentley has brought music to elder care settings for over 15 years, and has worked in every area of mental healthcare, and with hospitalised children and adults. Alongside her freelance career, Dr Bentley works part-time for the National Health Service in Scotland, as a musician in mental health occupational therapy services, focusing on older adults.

In 2009, Dr Bentley established the ‘Singing Memories’ group, one of Scotland’s first community singing groups for people with dementia and their carers, and has since trained many others to run groups of their own. In 2016, she was named a ‘BBC Music Unsung Hero’ for her work in community music. As a trainer, Dr Bentley has collaborated with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to develop and extend their work with older adults in hospitals across Scotland. She has been involved in training musicians, music therapists, occupational therapists, nursing staff and activity co-ordinators all over the world.


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