Members of the NAR-Kolleg


SoetheDr. Astrid Söthe-Röck
(korrespondierende Kollegiatin)

Linkpfeil Evangelisches Altenzentrum Bruchsal




Musik im gesunden Alter und mit Alzheimerdemenz

Music and ageing
Music accompanies human lives from birth to death. When getting old, every person looks back at a great individual musical biography including musical preferences for certain life-times, special musical experiences or specific musical activities. However, there are no systematic studies on the influence of the ageing process both on substantial and long trained musical abilities and performances. So musical laymen, non-musicians and professional musicians are target groups for this research.

Music therapy and Alzheimer`s disease
The research in the context of music therapy with patients demonstrates significant effects on symptomatic behavioural like aggressiveness or agitation. Nevertheless, research lacks in the question about how to manifest the observed effects. It is mostly unclear which impact certain aspects of music have on patients with dementia and which elements of music therapy are important for the positive effect. Besides the huge area of music therapy the substantial musical abilities of patients are in the focus of observation, as well. Also, we have to examine both the musical abilities of non-musicians and the experienced musical abilities of professional musicians in this context. In cooperation with the other collegiates we intend to develop and realise interdisciplinary projects which look at the relevant theme from a new perspective. The enriching discussion with other disciplines (for example the biological and evolutional aspects of music) inspires the thoughts about music (therapy) in numerous ways.

Exactly findings about the relationship between music and elderly or dementia offer a new dimension of understanding about the process of ageing or disease itself. Apart from the scientific point of view, the specific use of music in the studied target groups shall be motivated and enabled. A clear point of research on the effect of music therapy with Alzheimer dementia is a first step  to establish music therapy as a routine clinical application.



  • Söthe-Röck, A. (2010). Musik im Alter und mit Alzheimerdemenz. Fähigkeiten im Umgang mit kurzen musikalischen Rhythmen. Paderborn: Dissertation. Dissertation verfügbar unter
  • Söthe-Röck, A. (2010). Rhythmus und Alzheimerdemenz - Dem "Aus dem Takt kommen" sinnvoll begegnen. Musiktherapeutische Umschau, 31 (3), XXX.
  • Söthe-Röck, A. (2010). Zwischen Hoffnung und Erwartung - Aspekte zu Musik und Alzheimerdemenz. Musiktherapeutische Umschau, 31 (2), 123-130.
  • Söthe, A. (2008). Musikalische (Lern-)Fähigkeiten im Alter und mit Alzheimerdemenz. In: Gembris, H. (Hrsg). Musik im Alter. Soziokulturelle Rahmenbedingungen und individuelle Möglichkeiten. Frankfurt: Peter Lang Verlag.



2000 - 2004      Study of musicology and philosophy at the Technical University of Berlin.  During this time trainee at the German Center for Music Therapy Research Heidelberg, at the State Opera Berlin (music therapy pedagogy) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Cognition and Neuroscience, Leipzig
2004 - 2006 Post graduate studies – conveying of music/concert pedagogic at the College for Music, Detmold
2006 - 2008 Dissertation with Prof. Dr. Heiner Gembris, IBFM Paderborn, in cooperation with the University Clinic, Heidelberg, Section Gerontopsychiatry supervised by Prof. Dr. Johannes Schröder.
since 2008 Member of the NAR Kolleg, Heidelberg University










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Latest Revision: 2023-04-18