'Using co-design of technology to unlock possibilities for music interaction with people living with dementia'

The creative health sector widely acknowledges and evidences the value of music for people living with dementia, however, access to music is often directed through distinct types of activity. Through co-design of new devices with community and residential care groups, the Music, Dementia, Technology project at the University of Sheffield explores what music means to older adults living with dementia, the plurality of motivations and uses, and how we might create new technologies to support this. By prioritising activities that support agency, creativity and relationality, this talk will demonstrate the added value of technologies in this domain to provide a handle for music interaction, supporting the person living with dementia to be an active musical agent. Work with people living with young-onset dementia will also be discussed that pilots using new AI-enabled tools to support idea generation and critique for new musical devices. The implications of this work are in rethinking how we make musical interaction accessible, and how technology can help us challenge societal and internalised stereotypes of what it means to be musical when living with dementia.