Research & Professional Development


Experience in grounded theory research practices from data collection and analysis through to co-writing a large-scale publication:


Music and Dementia (with case studies from Music for Life), May 2010 - May 2013

Lifelong Learning in Music & the Arts (LLMA), Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Prince Claus Conservatoire) and Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Design, Music and Dance in The Hague (Royal Conservatoire), The Netherlands


The aim of the research was to investigate the practice of music workshops created for elderly people living with dementia and their care staff. The focus of the study was to research the practice specifically from the musicians’ perspective in order to inform future musician development and the eventual transfer of the practice to the Netherlands. The research also involved building a clearer understanding of the dementia care context in which the musicians are working in this project in order to inform their wider needs for professional development.


The process involved researching the practice of a Music for Life project in Autumn 2010, using a grounded theory approach. This first phase included the production of observational field notes and the undertaking of narrative interviews, triangulated with reflective journals from personnel involved in the project.


How to order the publication:

While the Music Lasts - on Music and Dementia Rineke Smilde, Kate Page and Peter Alheit

€ 34,50

Publisher: Eburon Academic Publishers, Delft

Language: English

ISBN 9789059728462


Purchase your copy via your local bookshop,, or Also available as e-book.


Professional Development

​Professional development sessions for a range of professionals and students:


Music education in schools:

  • Murdoch University, Aus: participating in a three-year project 'AiR Commission' developing training models for general pre-service students studying Primary School Education at Murdoch University and who will be required to teach the new National Arts Curriculum from 2017 (if adopted)

  • University of Western Australia, Aus: guest lecturer facilitating one-off sessions for UWA School of Music MUSC3601 students in Apr 2012 & 2013

  • The Song Room, Aus: facilitated professional development sessions for teachers working with Kindy up to Yr 4 students and early years practitioners


Music in health contexts:

  • Southern Cross Care, Aus: facilitated a professional development session for care staff on developing ideas for running music sessions for people living with dementia in 2012

  • WA Dementia Training Study Centre, Aus: co-facilitated a professional development session for occupational therapists on developing ideas for running music and art-based sessions for people living with dementia in 2012



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