Karen Kwok

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Brian L. Wilson

Second Advisor

Dr. David Smith

Third Advisor

Mr. Edward Roth

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Donna Weinreich

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research, based on Brotons and Pickett-Cooper’s 1994 study, examined the preferences of Chinese Alzheimer’s patients for music therapy activities. Fifteen Chinese senior residents residing in a Toronto, Canada ethnic nursing home participated in this study. Five different language and culturally appropriate music therapy activities were used, which included singing, dance/movement with music, musical games, instrument manipulation and improvisation/composition. Subjects met in small groups of 3 for a total of five 30-minute sessions in two weeks. During each session, one of the five music therapy activities was presented. At the end of each session, subjects were asked to state how much they had enjoyed the type of activity presented that day. Sessions were videotaped for post hoc analysis of subjects’ responses. Preference was determined by analyzing the proportion of active participation time and by verbal report. The behavior observation results indicated that Chinese Alzheimer’s seniors seem to prefer more musical games and improvisation/composition over other activities. Although this result is different from Brotons and Pickett-Cooper’s 1994 study with Caucasians, both studies seem to illustrate that behavior and verbal report do not concur in these individuals. Implications for music therapy practice with Chinese senior immigrants from Hong Kong and China are discussed.

Included in

Music Therapy Commons