Table 1

Differences and similarities of group music therapy and recreational choir singing

Group music therapyRecreational choir singing
Core principlesAffect regulation and attunement
Meet psychosocial needs
Empathic relationship.
Sing familiar songs, learn new songs
Cognitive activation
Focus on melody, lyrics and rhythm.
Core intentionsFacilitate and improve communication.
Reduce behavioural and psychological symptoms through regulation of emotions.
Facilitate positive experience of self and others.
Stimulate expression, semantic autobiographic memory and positive affect.
Shared principles and intentionsUse and support remaining faculty of musical reminiscence.
Tailor to individuals.
Support social experience, stimulate social and emotional well-being.
ProscribedPush participants to achieve goals.Instrumental improvisation.
Dementia inclusion criteriaAll levels of dementia, but may be divided to form homogeneous groups.All levels of dementia, but primarily mild to moderately severe dementia; mixed groups possible (inclusiveness).
Group sizeApprox. 5.Approx. 10.
Qualification of intervention providerMusic therapy degree; skilled musician; member of professional music therapy association or registration body.Skilled musician, choir leading skills and relevant further training.