Music-with-Movement Intervention

Partnering Organization

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Phase 1, 2 & 3)

Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living, Information and Technology Bureau (Phase 3)

Project Period

May 2014 – August 2016 (Phase 1)

Jan 2018  –  Mar 2021 (Phase 2)

Nov 2020 – Oct 2023 (Phase 3)

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)

Elders with early dementia, their family members, staff of partner NGOs and nursing students (Phase 3)


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)

30 elderly service units located in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories (Phase 3)

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.


Phase 3 Enhancing the programme for community adoption through information technology 

Drawing the evidence of Music and Movement Intervention in Phase 1 & 2, the Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living supports the development of a stand-alone tablet-based music interactive programme consisting of music motion-sensing games and AR games for the elderly with cognitive impairment.

Project components (Phase 3)

  • 30 elderly service units
  • 90 staff and/or family members
  • 800 elders in the aged homes, day care and neighbourhood centres
  • 200 nursing students as trainers on Music intervention
  • A training video will be developed and uploaded for staff/family members to train at their own pace


By adopting multi-sensory stimulation and augmented reality technology, elders are motivated to participate in the music intervention. An intelligent cloud-based platform is set up with sensors to track the health conditions and measure the engagement levels of the elders. The health and engagement data are collected to refine the intervention programme for personalised needs.

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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