Development of a music therapy programme for healthy elderly in the community – A pilot evaluation on feasibility and acceptability


  • Mabel Qi He Leow
  • Michelle Yin Yin Low
  • Carol Tien Tau Loi
  • Patsy Lee Peng Tan
  • Shian Chao Tay



Successful aging can occur through promoting physiological, psychosocial, physical, cognitive functioning, and engagement in social and productive activities. The study aims to describe the development of a group music therapy programme for healthy elderly living in the community. Group music therapy was conducted for elderly above 60 years old. The intervention consists of four weekly sessions which lasted one-hour each. A certified music therapist conducted all the sessions.An evaluation of the music therapy programme was conducted at the end of the four sessions. Three music therapy groups were conducted, and 20 elderly participated. The mean age of the participants was 68.7±4.6 years (range: 60 to 76 years old). All participants expressed they enjoyed the music therapy sessions. The main activity preferences were hand chimes, hand percussion, musical bingo and lyric substitution. All participants found the one-hour session to be too short, and suggested to increase the session duration to 1.5 or 2 hours. Our music therapy programme was well-received by the elderly in the community. The activities helped to increase physical activity and social engagement, and potentially reduced cognitive decline and depression. It could be proposed as a regular activity in the community.

Author Biographies

Mabel Qi He Leow

PhD in nursing focusing on palliative care, currently a Research Scientist at the Biomechanics Laboratory in the Singapore General Hospital.

Michelle Yin Yin Low

Music therapist at the Singapore General Hospital.

Carol Tien Tau Loi

PhD nursing candidate and genetic counsellor at the Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital

Patsy Lee Peng Tan

Senior music therapist at the Singapore General Hospital.

Shian Chao Tay

Senior Consultant Hand Surgeon and Research Director at the department of Hand Surgery.


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