Music-with-Movement Intervention (Phases I & II)

Partnering Organization

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Phases 1 & 2)

Project Period

May 2014 – August 2016 (Phase 1)

Jan 2018  –  June 2019 (Phase 2)

Target Group

Elders with early dementia, their family members, staff of partner NGOs (Phase 1)

Elders with early dementia, their family members, staff of partner NGOs and volunteers (Phase 2)


14 elderly service units located in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories (Phase 1)

5 NGOs located in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories (Phase 2)

How it works

Music and movement can improve the quality of life of seniors with dementia, especially their communication with family members.

This project developed a culturally-appropriate music-with-movement protocol (the Protocol) for Hong Kong. Age-specific music and songs familiar to the elders are selected and tailored with movement to make an activity package that can be used by elder-and-caregiver pairs at home.


Phase 1 Piloting the music-with-movement protocol

  1. Training of day-care and home-care staff by music therapist:
    86 elderly care staff from 14 units of 8 NGOs were trained
  2. Training of family caregivers by day care and home staff:
    95 family pairs of elders and their caregivers were trained
  3. Families implemented the Protocol at home
  4. Dissemination of the Protocol to the public, including:
    Professional training workshops, roadshows, fun fairs, public talks, seminars were conducted to promote the use of the Protocol in home and professional contexts

At the project’s end, the Protocol was developed, and an e-Book published.


A study led by Professor Claudia Lai of Hong Kong Polytechnic University was conducted to examine the effectiveness of Music- with-Movement and other interventions.
Overall research suggested that the caregiver-delivered, home-based intervention has positive value, and is practical for families, and it can be promoted for more extensive use in the community.


The project (Phase 1) has received the Merit Award of Knowledge Transfer (Community) by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2017.

Phase 2 Scaling the programme and building the network

It aims to promote the adoption of the music-with-movement Protocol with a sustainable approach in NGOs and families with elders with early dementia by:

  • Engaging service units to share and implement the Protocol
  • Empowering centre staff to learn the skills and to serve as a trainer of the Protocol
  • Empowering caregivers with the skills in taking up the Protocol at home with their elders
  • Training and building up a mobile voluntary support in order to deliver the Protocol with the caregivers in adopting and sustaining the intervention at home

Project components (Phase 2)

  • 50 staff from 5 NGOs to be trained as “Music intervention facilitators”
  • 2 series music-with-movement intervention activities to 75 elder-and-caregiver pairs
  • 250 elder-and-caregiver pairs in the group sessions
  • 1 series of volunteer training on the Protocol
  • 75 volunteers to be trained as “Music intervention Ambassador”
  • 1 professional workshop
  • 1 public education seminar
  • 1 set of micro-film to document the training and intervention process


This project was able to engage 7 NGOs to promote the adoption of the music-with-movement intervention programme with a sustainable approach to improve psychosocial well-being of people with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment and their family caregivers.

Music with Movement can:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Reduce depression
  • Improve mood, memory and body coordination
  • Enhance social interaction

E-book Download

e-book cover


“Happy! Sure, I am happy. I enjoy the activities since I can listen to and sing the songs that I am familiar with.”


“My mum smiles more and frowns less after the activities. She enjoys the music very much, especially playing with the musical instruments.”

Family member

“I thought it was difficult to master the skills of Music with Movement. However, after practicing a few times, I realize that it is not as hard as I thought. The seniors were laughing a lot when I practiced with them in the centre.”


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