Music therapy in dementia and end-of-life care: A report from Italy — Mariagrazia Baroni

Ειδικό ένθετο | Η μουσικοθεραπεία στην άνοια και την φροντίδα στο τέλος της ζωής: Μεσογειακές προοπτικές

Τεύχος 12 (2) 2020– Report (first published on 20 June 2020)

Full text [PDF]

Music therapy in dementia and end-of-life care: A report from Italy

Mariagrazia Baroni

Madonna dell’Uliveto Foundation, Italy


This report outlines the fundamental phases and factors that have contributed to the development of music therapy in Italy, from 1970s up to the present day, paying particular attention to the context of dementia and end-of-life care. Drawing on knowledge and experience of the Italian music therapy schools and professional associations, the paper explores the development of music therapy in dementia care, from the first interventions in the 1980s in residential care homes across the country to the several qualitative and quantitative research projects available today. Another focus is about the growth of the hospice movement in Italy and the inclusion of professional music therapists in multidisciplinary teams involved in palliative care and pain management. Music therapy started to be used sporadically in hospices from the end of the 1990s and since 2000 many Italian studies of music therapy in end-of-life care are annually presented in national and international conferences. Finally, the reports looks at the future and explores the various music therapy projects that have been increasing and developing in different contexts.


music therapy, Italy, dementia, end-of-life care


Mariagrazia Baroni is a board-certified music therapist and classical pianist. She graduated in piano at the Conservatory (Reggio Emilia), obtained a MA in Musicology (Parma University) and a MA in Music Therapy at the University of the West of England (UK). Since 2001 she has worked in dementia care and in palliative care with terminally ill patients in one of the first hospices of Italy. She has presented papers about her work in various national and international conferences. She teaches several palliative care courses for music therapists, nurses and doctors, with lectures about music and music therapy. She has been President of the Italian Association of Professional Music therapists (AIM) since 2016. []