Music is life – a documentary

March 17, 2021

The delightful Music is Life research documentary follows a community living with dementia in Canada as they write and compose a song about the meaning of music in their lives.

The film explores experiences of relational caring through music as community members write and compose a song, lead by Grammy Award-winning musician Simon Law. Funded by the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the film is based on research conducted by Drs. Christine Jonas-Simpson, Sherry Dupuis, Pia Kontos and Gail Mitchell.

Relational caring is explained in the footage: “We are people relating to people using the arts to build a bridge and create relationships that are meaningful, respectful, dignified, loving.”

The life-affirming documentary, which captures plenty of laughter, tears, dancing and singing, shows how music forms the soundtracks of our lives. It takes both the participants and viewers on an uplifting musical journey that inspires a different approach to dementia care, that of relational caring.

One of the research team says: “The great thing about music with dementia is that there are many broken connections with dementia but there are just millions and billions of connections in there that are not damaged.”

“If you engage with music all of a sudden those connections are still very powerful and they open doors to memories, to speech, to engagement in ways that you are unable to do with more traditional interactions.”

We applaud the sense of togetherness, connection, purpose and co-creation that this epitomises and are huge fans of the final song ‘Music takes you higher’ and the fact that the film-makers have created a karaoke version so everyone can join in.

You can watch the short trailer of the film below:

View the full 50 minute film below:

Our thanks to Christine and her team for sharing this with us.