Our Research

Music For All Seasons and Quality of Life in Dementia.


In 2005 Music For All Seasons collaborated with the JFK Neuroscience Institute in a pilot study on the quality-of-life effects of Music For All Seasons programs on patients with mild forms of dementia.

Twenty-three residents of a long-term care facility were selected with diagnoses of dementia. The subjects were aged 64 – 93 with a mean age of 84, 19 female and 6 male. Nine of these patients were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, nine with multi-infarct dementia, and five with senile dementia.

The Cornell Brown QOLID (Quality Of Life In Dementia Scale) was administered on 6 occasions, each two weeks apart. Live, professional music performances given just before QOLID measures 2 and 5. Use of ‘prn’ sedatives were tallied for the two-week periods leading up to each QOLID. Frequency of falls were tallied for the two-week periods leading up to each QOLID.

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Music For All Seasons and Children in Shelters for Victims of Domestic Violence.


In January of 2008 Music For All Seasons was awarded a three-year grant through the Society for the Arts in Healthcare and funded by Johnson & Johnson to study the effects of our programs for children in shelters for victims of domestic violence. Dr. Martin Gizzi, Chairman of the JFK Neuroscience Institute, supervised the research component of the program. After a search for a quality of life measurement tool that had both broad applicability and high parent-child concordance (Eiser and Morse, 2001), the TACQOL (Vogels et al, 2000) was chosen for this study. The TACQOL has also been referred to in the literature as the TNO-AZL Children’s Quality of Life Scale. The tool was initially developed for children age 6 and older. A second tool for children age 1-5 has also been developed and validated (Fekkes et al, 2000). This related tool is known as the TAPQOL. Both have been extensively validated for a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings (Bunge et al, 2005). Both tools have been translated into Spanish by a native Spanish-speaking neurologist at the JFK Neuroscience Institute.

All four tools (two age-groups and two languages) were pilot tested using families not included in the study. It was determined that completion of a single questionnaire takes 7-15 minutes. This time was felt to be short enough that the questionnaires had a high probability of being completed consistently as the study progressed.

Study design.

By combining the TACQOL (youth aged 6-15) with the TAPQOL (children 1-5) we were able to study children aged 1 -15.

We selected ten shelters for inclusion in the study. Five shelters had been receiving programs from MFAS for the past few years and they would receive programs through Phase One of the study. An additional five shelters were selected to serve as controls by filling out questionnaires on the same schedule as the five participating shelters. Over a three-month period, five musical programs were scheduled every two weeks in the five participating shelters. All shelters filled out questionnaires prior to the first program and every two weeks during the three-month period. The questionnaires were filled out one week after each performance in order to remove the association of program from questionnaire.

This project took interactive musical programs to children resident in ten shelters for victims of domestic violence in the State of New Jersey. The goal was to improve peer interaction and to break down, through music, the barriers that abused children build between themselves, family members, and their peers. Programs were delivered to the ten facilities in the following manner:
Year one – over a period of three months, five received only the evaluations and five received the programs. Following the completion of the trial, all facilities received monthly programs for the remainder of the year.
Year two – the facilities were reversed.
Year three – all facilities received eight weeks of evaluations with no programs, followed by eight weeks of intensive programs (one every two weeks) with evaluations, and finally, following the evaluations, regular monthly programs.

The Recipients:
180 children ages 1–15
144 mothers
75 staff

The results, analyzed by Dr.Barry Cohen of New York University, upheld the anecdotal evidence we have gathered over a period of thirteen years summarized by the following:
“On gathering for one of your performances the children were observed to be somewhat angry and highly territorial. Within a few minutes of the beginning of the performance the children were observed to have calmed down and to be attentive. By the end, children of all ages were working together making music as a group and had developed a sense of community.”

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