Dr Ming Hung Hsu

Senior Research Fellow

Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Creative Industries
Areas of Expertise:
Music therapy
Research Supervision:

Ming is a Senior Research Fellow at ARU's Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research (CIMTR).

[email protected]

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Since 2008, Ming has developed a music therapy service in care homes, winning the LaingBuisson Excellence in Dementia Care award. In 2019, the service featured in the BBC TV programme, Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure.

Ming’s research focuses on music therapy for managing neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia. His research applies heart-rate analyses, cognitive theories and research findings of affective neuroscience in music therapy treatment.

Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Mandarin
Research interests
  • Music therapy treatment for neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia
  • Psychosocial interventions in dementia care
  • Affective and cognitive processes in music therapy
  • Clinical outcome assessments and physiological markers

Ming’s research interests are mainly within the field of senior and dementia care. By conducting mixed-methods research, Ming studies the role of music therapists in personalising dementia care and supporting caregivers. In addition, Ming is interested in using psychophysiological techniques such as heart rate analysis to investigate how melody, tempo and timbre facilitates targeted cognitive processes and emotion regulation.

Ming is currently working on the UK arm of the international trial study HOMESIDE, funded by Alzheimer’s Society.

Areas of research supervision

Recent and current PhD supervision

  • Naomi Thompson: ‘MEDLODIC: Co-developing a Music Therapy Intervention Embedded in the Life of Dementia Inpatient psychiatric Care to Reduce Agitation and Related Physical Assaults’ (current).
  • Kiera Kenny: ‘Managing the Needs of Care Home Residents with Cognitive Impairment and Dementia through Music Therapy: A Non-randomised Controlled Feasibility Study’ (current).
  • Sarah Crabtree: ‘The Rationale for the Use of Singing, Listening, Playing Instruments and Movement with Music for People Living with Dementia’ (current).
  • Nina Wollersberger: ‘Exploring the Impact of an Indirect Music Therapy Intervention on Quality of Life for Informal Caregivers of People Living with Dementia in the Community’ (current).
  • PhD in Music Therapy, Anglia Ruskin University
  • MA Music Therapy, Anglia Ruskin University
  • BA Music Education, National University of Tainan, Taiwan
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Registered Music Therapist, Health and Care Professions Council
  • Member, British Association for Music Therapy
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Co-Investigator, "MusiCare: Protecting Cognitive Functions and Wellbeing Using Music Therapy & Innovative Technology with an Aging Population", Dunhill Medical Trust, 2020–06 Research Project grants – FULL, RPGF2006\241, £299,957, 2020, PI: Fabia Franco and Anthony Mangiacotti (Middlesex); CIs: M. Biasutti (Padua), E. Chinellato (Middlesex), G. Di Liberto (ENS, Paris), G. Gabai (Padua), M. H. Hsu (MHA), M. Van Puyvelde (Brussels), E. Ward (Middlesex).
Selected recent publications

Hsu, M. H., 2022. Music therapy in dementia care. In: Parker, I., Coaten, R., Hopfenbeck, M. (Eds.), 2022. The practical handbook of living with dementia (Monmouth: PCCS Books), pp. 273-280.

Dowson, B., Atkinson, R., Barnes, J., Barone, C., Cutts, N., Donnebaum, E., Hung Hsu, M., Lo Coco, I., John, G., Meadows, G., O'Neill, A., 2021. Digital approaches to music-making for people with dementia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: current practice and recommendations. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, pp. 1273.

Mangiacotti, A. M., Franco, F., Hsu, M. H., Biasutti, M., 2021. Evaluating a continuing professional development course on cognitive functions for music therapists working in care homes. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 74, 101800.

Baker, F. A., Bloska, J., Braat, S., Bukowska, A., Clark, I., Hsu, M. H., Kvamme, T., Lautenschlager, N., Lee, Y. E. C., Smrokowska-Reichmann, A., Sousa, T. V., 2019. HOMESIDE: home-based family caregiver-delivered music and reading interventions for people living with dementia: protocol of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ open, 9(11), e031332.

Mangiacotti, A., Hsu, M. H., Barone, C., Di Liberto, G., Van Puyvelde, M., Biasutti, M., Franco, F., 2019. P3‐465: Effects of music therapy in elderly care: cognition, biomarkers, mood and social behaviour. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 15, pp. 1144.

Hsu, M. H., 2016. Caregivers’ dual role in music therapy to manage neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia. In: Strange, J., Odell-Miller, H., Richards, E. (Eds.), 2016. Collaboration and assistance in music therapy practice (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers), pp. 120-144.

Hsu, M. H., Flowerdew, R., Parker, M., Fachner, J., Odell-Miller, H., 2015. Individual music therapy for managing neuropsychiatric symptoms for people with dementia and their carers: a cluster randomised controlled feasibility study. BMC Geriatrics, 15(1), pp. 84.

Recent presentations and conferences

Hsu, M. H., 2022. Music therapy at home and in long-term care settings. Invited talk at the 2nd Dementia Conference, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK, 21 September 2022.

Hsu, M. H., 2019. Music for dementia: practical uses of music for managing symptoms in dementia care. CIMTR public research lecture, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, 23 September 2019.

Hsu, M. H., 2019. It’s a virtuous circle: PhD, training, practice and service development between MHA and ARU. Invited talk at the ARU MA Music Therapy 25th Anniversary Conference, 7 September 2019.Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.

Mangiacotti, A., Hsu, M. H., Barone, C., Di Liberto, G. et al, 2019. Effects of music therapy in elderly care: cognition, bio-markers, mood and social behaviour. Poster presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, 16 July 2019, Los Angeles, USA.

Hsu, M. H., 2019. Examples of good care: music therapy. Invited talk at the Caritas Social Network’s summer learning day conference: nurturing catholic residential care for older people, 11 July 2019, Birmingham, UK.

Hsu, M. H., 2019. Music therapy in MHA: practice, research and beyond. Invited talk at CIMTR music therapy in dementia care settings conference, 13 March 2019, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

Schneider, J. and Hsu, M. H., 2019. Not just entertainment: music in dementia care. Workshop at the Midlands Regional Social Prescribing Conference, 31 January 2019, Chester University, Shrewsbury, UK.

Hsu, M. H., 2018. The practice of music in dementia care. Keynote at the Power of Music in Health and Social Care Conference, 12 October 2018,  Nottingham University, Nottingham, UK.

Jones, L., Hsu, M. H. & Flowerdew, R. (2018). Changing the landscape of dementia care in care homes through music therapy: an organisational effort. Paper presentation at the BAMT (British Association for Music Therapy) conference 2018 - Music, Diversity and Wholeness, 18 February 2018, London, UK.

Hsu, M. H., 2017. Music & dementia: emotion regulation from the laboratory to the therapy room and into everyday care. Keynote at the CDAN (Creative Dementia Arts Network) Expert Seminar, 20 November 2017, Wellcome Trust, London.

Media experience
  • BBC Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday with Kate Bottley and Jason Mohammad, 29 September 2019