Meet our new Research Associate

Interview with Jordana Peake

Jordana’s interest in music, combined with her medical research experience meant she was the ideal person to be our new Research Associate.

So, what attracted her to Music for my Mind and what is she looking forward to in 2019?

Why did you want to work for Music for my Mind?

Jordana: The Music for my Mind project combines two of my life passions: medical research relating to life limiting conditions and music. In fact, after my postdoctoral research into children’s palliative care, I took some time out to focus on my music. I sing folk, soul, jazz and opera, as well as playing the piano – and I’m learning to play the guitar.

Improving the lives of people living with dementia is also something that is very close to home for me. My stepfather had dementia, but he sang and talked about music up until the end of his life.

 

Why do you think music is so important to people with dementia?

J: Dementia is so unforgiving, but music seems to cut through everything and has the power to enhance the quality of life for people living with it.

I was really surprised that only 5% of care homes in the UK have music programmes. That’s why I feel it’s so important to provide scientific evidence to show how music can improve life for people living with dementia. I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I am working on research that can help provide that evidence and identify how and when music can be used most effectively – particularly in places like care homes.

 

Jordana Peake - Research Associate

Jordana Peake – Research Associate

 

How do you hope to help Music for my Mind’s work in 2019?

J: There are lots of interesting things going on here already and there’s a great team, so I’m very excited to be part of that. In particular, we’ll be looking at how we generate personalised music playlists for people living with dementia and how we can refine them based on individual responses to music.

For example, we want to start by working with family members of people living with dementia to find out as much as possible about the musical interests between the ages of 14 and 22, when most people’s musical tastes are formed. We’ll be using different technologies to measure people’s emotional responses to the playlists, such as facial expression recognition, movement and pulse monitors.

We’re also hoping to be able to drill down even more, so we can start to identify different patterns. Such as how long the playlist needs to be played before it evokes a response. Is it more effective to play the same playlist or different ones each day? Do we recognise different reactions at different times of day, or to music at a different tempo or key?

This will be really valuable data that will help care homes to use music in the most effective ways for people living with dementia. It’s going to be really interesting to design and conduct studies with more people in 2019.

 

To read an interview with the Founder of the charity, Prof Keith McAdam, click here.

Music for my Mind is hiring!

Job Title

**Update: this job opportunity is now closed**

Part-time Clinical Research Associate – Dementia

Reports To

Chair/Chief Executive of Music for my Mind

Job Overview

  • St Albans area, Hertfordshire
  • Seek to provide robust evidence through clinical studies that personalized music enhances the quality of life and well-being of people living with dementia, their carers and family and that favourite music can change lives
  • As part of the Research strategy for Music for My Mind, deliver the small scale clinical studies with dementia patients in selected care homes to monitor the emotional and physiological impact of personalized music
  • Compile personalized music playlists for residents living with dementia, with the help of their family members or carers and then test delivery methods of the playlists to residents in an attempt to improve well-being, particularly at times of stress

 

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Visit selected care homes, liaise with families and identify and recruit suitable residents living with dementia to take part in clinical studies
  • Ensure informed consent has been obtained for residents living with dementia (and their care givers with power of attorney) to take part in studies in accordance with legal requirements
  • Contribute to the development of protocols
  • Collect key information as identified in study protocol
  • Conduct studies – build personal playlists with residents and their families to agreed process in study protocol
  • Monitor emotional, physiological and clinical impact of personalized music to agreed process in study protocol
  • Maintain accurate data and records for each patient in line with study protocol
  • Maintain effective communication with patients, families, care givers and care home staff
  • Ensure that research and clinical trials are carried out effectively, safely, and professionally and in compliance with legal, statutory and regulatory responsibilities
  • Examine, analyse and prepare data for presentation and publication

 

Qualifications and Experience

Registered nurse, occupational therapist, psychologist, social scientist or social worker with clinical research experience, ideally working with older people.

 

Competencies

We are looking for someone who can demonstrate:

  • Commitment to the aims and ethos of Music for My Mind
  • Experience of working in clinical research, ideally with older people
  • Knowledge of the concepts of clinical research and Good Clinical Practice
  • Attention to detail
  • Meticulous documentation and record keeping
  • Strong all-round communication skills and relationship-management abilities
  • Excellent understanding and empathy with the practical needs, concerns and health of people living with dementia and their families and care givers
  • Personal drive, energy, integrity, flexibility and responsibility
  • An understanding of key health and dementia issues
  • An understanding of technical, scientific and medical information
  • An interest in music
  • Excellent organisation, planning and prioritisation skills
  • Competency in Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

 

Location

  • Working from home and can travel frequently to care homes in St Albans and other parts of Hertfordshire and London
  • Occasional travel in UK

 

Remuneration

Salary to be discussed – initially a 1 year fixed term contract. Probationary period of 3 months

Hours

Up to 8 days a month – to be worked flexibly as required

To apply: please send your CV to our email – contactmfmm@gmail.com