Evidence Meeting 3: THE ROLE OF MUSIC IN Coping with the ageing population

A series of evidence meetings conducted at the House of Lords examining the full value of music to UK society.

Questions to be addressed in this meeting:

  1. The delivery of music services by professional musicians at all UK care homes is unlikely to be financially achievable in the current economic climate. So how can we affordably scale up the reach through alternative music delivery options?

  2. It's essential that we help older adults “age well” but exercise recommendations have not achieved sufficient take up to deliver a health impact. So how can we leverage the deep emotional connection that older adults have with music to more successfully keep them socially active and healthy?


Expert Witnesses


Henry Quinn, Head of Strategic Intelligence and Joy Marshall, Clinical Lead, NHS Dementia Village (opening 2019)

When built, the Dover dementia centre of excellence (The Harmonia Village) will be an enclosed site containing modified housing blocks, with each accommodating five residents with dementia. It’s anticipated that 30 people will be accommodated, with an additional six beds available for a new ‘guesthouse with care’ concept. A separate building will provide community facilities and services. The Dover dementia centre of excellence will use ‘Telehealth’ to help with monitoring residents’ health, and technology to help make residents’ daily lives easier. Dementia presents a challenge to society, both now and increasingly in the future. Dementia now costs the UK economy £26.3 billion a year. The NHS East Kent Trust team have embedded music firmly within the overall delivery with the development of a bespoke music strategy for Harmonia Village.

The 'Folkestone Music Town' project was launched in January 2017 with the aim of connecting the whole town through music. The objective was to drive inter-generational social inclusion, combat loneliness and ensure that all residents of all ages have as much music in their daily lives as possible. This project was presented at the United Nations World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur in 2018 to demonstrate how music can be used to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals. Folkestone has a skewed, above UK average, ageing population. The Folkestone Music Town project has focused on building closer relationships between care homes, schools and the local music community.

Nina Clark, Co-Chair, Folkestone Music Town

Gordon Anderson, Chief Executive, Memory Tracks

Memory Tracks is a care platform that links songs to tasks that need to be carried out during the day and provides a personalised selection of music tailored to an individual’s routine, their family, carers and needs. The core element of this is a tablet or smartphone app that connects daily events to the person’s choice of reminiscence music. In the initial development these triggers are activated by their carer or by the user. Further development of Memory Tracks will utilise behavioural or physical triggers via a sensor environment to create a contextual, more immersive user experience.

This is not an official website of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. This is a not-for-profit group for Members of both Houses with a common interest in these specified issues. The views expressed on this website are those of the group, or individual members of the group.