Can you tell us a bit about Music for my Mind?
There are 50 million people living with dementia worldwide, 850,000 in the UK alone. Music for my Mind is a new charity seeking to provide evidence that personalised music enhances quality of life and well-being of people living with dementia; it also helps them reconnect with their loved ones. Music for my Mind is working towards clinical trials that show the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this approach. Such evidence is required to establish music as best practice for the many people living with dementia across the UK and internationally.
How did the idea for Music for my Mind come to be?
The charity's founder, Professor Keith McAdam, witnessed first-hand, the effect that music and creativity can have on well-being and quality of life in people living with HIV at the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda, where he was the foundation director. He looked for a way to intervene creatively within the UK health system. His background in clinical medicine and research has helped us envision a step by step process to achieve our goal, working with cross-disciplinary collaborators. He has been joined by a spectacular Board of Trustees, providing a variety of expertise from different industries and specialities.
What has your research discovered so far?
In our pilot study using Spotify, and based on date of birth and music tastes in their youth, a personal playlist was created for volunteers and residents in care homes, living at different stages of the dementia spectrum. Everyone’s playlist was unique and personalised, as were their reactions and emotions. It touched not only those living with dementia, but their family and carers too.
What are the future plans for Music for my Mind?
We are working towards clinical trials which will prove the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of music as a means of improving quality of life for people living with dementia and their families. This includes starting with pilot studies to answer a series of relevant questions, such as:
1. Is there an optimal dose of music an individual needs to improve mood?
2. Is there a particular time of the day when music listening has a better effect?
3. Does a specific type of music help in certain moods - e.g. calming music when people are agitated and distressed?
4. Will the same music have similar effects on successive occasions?
In order to gather sufficient data for our research, we need to find an efficient way to build personal music playlists and develop an easy-to-use system for delivering music to people living with dementia in care homes. We are using tech approaches to selecting playlists, working through a leading music streaming company, Spotify and testing devices that can measure emotional responses to music.
We also have plans to work together with Playlist for Life on our common goal of helping people living with dementia through personalised music.
Can you tell us a bit about your crowdfunding campaign?
We have started a crowdfunding campaign through Hubbub, not only to gather funds that will help us achieve our goals but to raise awareness about Music for my Mind and the positive effects music has on people living with dementia and their carers/ families. Dementia is relevant to everyone. Therefore, we are aiming to create a 'tsunami-like' effect through engaging all of our networks and contacts and spreading the message. Our goal is to raise £100,000, which will fund our work throughout 2018.
What will funds from the campaign go towards?
The crowdfunding campaign funds our operations for one year, in which we will start working with a small number of care homes to provide a personal playlist to every person living with dementia and the equipment necessary for it to be played in their setting, as part of their care. The funding will allow us to expand that reach and gather relevant research data through the initial pilot studies. It will also give us support in securing grant funding in 2018 for conducting a large scale clinical trial. The findings of that research will support the use of this method in care homes and thousands of people with dementia can benefit from it by 2021.
What's been the process around planning for your crowdfunding campaign?
We have been very lucky to receive advice from multi-disciplinary experts. With the help of the team at Hubbub, we started building our crowdfunding platform. Essential to the process was creating our short film, which shows the effects music has on people living with dementia and their families. Utilising Hubbub's Ambassadors platform has helped us create a centralised platform to communicate with all of the charity's advocates and track engagement with the platform.
How can people support your project?
Everyone can help us spread the word about Music for my Mind within their networks. You can become an Ambassador for music and dementia and help us share our message by signing up here.
Or you can support us through donating towards our financial goal here.
For more information visit our website: http://musicformymind.com/
If you are interested in running your own crowdfunding campaign then get in touch with us here.