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Hand Drums

Music Therapy Sessions

Who is this catered to?

People living with dementia

AGI’s Music Therapy program aims to foster a sense of emotional and psychosocial well-being in participants through music-listening and music-making experiences.


Our Board-Certified Music Therapist offers a structured and supportive therapeutic environment for groups and individuals to connect to their creativity, both online and in person. Music therapy sessions are tailored to the individual and focus on therapeutic goals such as expression, reminiscence, stimulation, socialization, and relaxation.


All forms of participation are welcome.

Prior musical experience is not necessary.

Are you a caregiver? Learn how you can use music as a therapeutic tool.


Meet Music Therapy Participants:

Donna and Irwin

Donna’s musical life began with piano lessons at the age eight. With the help of her father, she discovered and studied under the late and revered Montreal piano teacher, Mr. Mergler. During this time, she developed a love for piano and Classical music, continuing to play with the conservatory until the age of 18. Donna also sang and played music at summer camp.
Transitioning into adolescence, she fell in love with the great folk music of the ‘60’s, inspired by artists such as Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Emmy Lou Harris, as well as rock ‘n roll. It is through her love of folk music that she was introduced to Irwin.

Irwin has always been a lover of 60s folk music and rock ‘n roll, enjoying time spent singing the songs associated with these genres with others. He and Donna met at a concert at New Penelope Club, situated downtown Montreal. They both found a connection not only in their shared love of music, but in their passion to serve others. After graduating from McGill, Donna and Irwin maintained lifelong careers in their respective helping professions: Donna as a psychologist, and Irwin as a urologist.

In the words of Donna and Irwin

" With the pandemic, a lot had to stop. And with the illness of dementia as well. But we keep music alive as it is the best medicine!  And we are so grateful to have weekly music therapy sessions at AGI with a special music therapist, Kayley. We call these music therapy days “Weekly Wonderful Wednesdays”. We learned how therapeutic and helpful music is for our well-being and facing all of the challenges associated with dementia.

We are grateful to AGI for this and everything they are offering us, including support groups that provide music and art, and so much stimulation and camaraderie with others in similar positions. In the support group, caregivers share so much.  We bless the AGI team everyday and all of the wonderful helpers. We feel so grateful. "

In their late 40s, at the height of their careers and raising 3 children, Irwin and Donna decided to form a band called The Musical Chairs, with other music-loving friends. The group consisted of guitarists and singers, and they rehearsed in one another’s homes. Gradually, they decided to share their joy and passion with others by bringing a variety of music to hospitals and senior residences, including many favourite Hebrew songs.

Into retirement, their love of music never faded. They offered a course to seniors at McGill University titled “Down Memory Lane”, teaching others about music and history.
Irwin began taking guitar lessons in his sixties, and Donna always enjoyed singing in choirs. With the pandemic and Irwin’s dementia diagnosis, much of their music-making sadly stopped. but Irwin continued to practice on his own, and Donna found joy singing with the Phoenix Choir at Unitarian Church.

Now, Irwin and Donna continue to attend support groups and weekly music therapy sessions at AGI.

All I Have to Do is Dream
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Welcome to our Drum Circle

Drum circles are one of the many musical experiences that group members are invited to participate in at AGI’s activity centre.

Drumming has a variety of health and well-being benefits. Through synchronized rhythm, drumming can promote group cohesion, enhance self-expression, reduce stress, act as a mode of communication, and ultimately strengthen bonds between individuals.

Click the play button to listen to an audio sample of one of our Activity Centre groups participating in a drum circle.

Drum Circle
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Wooden Xylophone
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