Music, Dementia and Positive Ageing, a showcase of current research on positive ageing and dementia through the medium of music, will be live streamed from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University of Limerick on 15 March 2021. 

As part of National Brain Awareness Week, this event will feature performances of original musical compositions by Ian Wilson and Paul Noonan depicting experiences of living with dementia, presentations by leading researchers and clinicians on positive ageing and music and dementia research, and an experiential workshop exploring the effects of singing on wellbeing and cognition in older age.


  • Welcome address by Dr Hilary Moss, Senior Lecturer in MA Music Therapy at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
  • Presentation by Professor Desmond O’Neill on ageing and dementia, with an emphasis on positive ageing and creativity in later life. Professor Desmond O’Neill is a consultant geriatrician and gerontologist with a leading international profile in research and advocacy in ageing and the neurosciences, focusing on links with the arts and humanities.
  • Live performance of ‘Therefore I am…’ This is an original composition by renowned composer Ian Wilson, reflecting on the experience of older people with dementia and their carers. The work will be performed by members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, eminent musicians Kenneth Rice (violin), Joachim Roewer (viola), Malachy Robinson (double bass), and Cathal Roche (saxophone).
  • Presentation by Ms Sophie Lee on current research on music and dementia. Sophie is a PhD Candidate at UL, supported by the Irish Research Council. Her research focuses on the effects of music psychosocial interventions on the wellbeing of people with early stage dementia and their family carers.
  • Performance of ‘Glacier,’ an original song by Paul Noonan of Bell X1. ‘Glacier’ was inspired by the lives of composer and musician Clive Wearing and his wife Deborah. Clive contracted severe amnesia, losing his ability to retain memories and recall his past. However, his emotional memory remained intact and he knew he loved and was loved by his wife.
  • Experiential singing workshop. This workshop will demonstrate the positive benefits of making music for people with dementia and their family members and communicates the latest research on singing for health and wellbeing.
  • Input and reflections from an expert by experience from the Alzheimer’s Society, a senior clinician from the Ageing Research Cluster in UL and Music Therapist and PhD student Lisa Kelly.

This event is supported by the Irish Research Council.

Online event
Date: Monday 15 March 2021
Time: 19:00 – 21:30 GMT
Register via Eventbrite:


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