A workshop for family members and care staff of people with advanced dementia.

Learn how to use rhythm as a non-verbal tool for connection and communication.



Workshop trailer (3:09)


A demonstration (7:38)


My maternal grandmother, born 1885, Netherlands 1897.


The Method:


As dementia progresses language abilities will decline.

First the chats become repetitive, simpler, and harder to sustain.

Next you will start to miss a sense of connection. I know how that feels.

But… there is a simple alternative, a fun and enjoyable one.

Linguistic abilities may be lost, but the rhythmic memory remains.

By stimulating the rhythmic memory you can restore a sense of connection.

It is a non-verbal, sometimes subtle connection, but nevertheless profound. 

Wouldn’t that be great?

My maternal grandfather, born 1885, Netherlands 1901.

The rhythmic memory is a subconscious memory.

It is located in a different part of the brain than language.

Rhythm is first experienced in the womb, and therefor one of the last memories to go.

Maybe that is why we love swings when we are young and rocking chairs when we are old. 

A simple hand dance to a song or tune can activate the rhythmic memory, and thus body and soul, sometimes even the voice!

I can teach you how to do that in half a day.

My maternal grandparents getting engaged, they married in 1911.


My experience with 'Sitdance' (worldwide) combined with knowledge and experience of

'Holistic Pulsing' (New Zealand), 'Basis Stimulation' (Germany), and Touch of Matrix (Netherlands)

led to the invention of the Rhythm Beats (dementia) Blues method.

The method is beneficial for both the giver and the receiver.

It creates a connection that you can literally and figuratively feel.

It makes family visits meaningful and enjoyable again.

The method is person-centered and intuitive.

The workshop is enjoyable, and informative.

Anyone can learn it, including you!

My maternal grandparents with first 8 (of 13) children, Netherlands.


About the workshop:


The workshop will teach the skills required to implement the method.

You get to experience and practice the technique with fellow participants.

It will empower you to implement the technique using your own choice of music.

The workshop is suitable for family members and carers of people with (advanced) dementia.

My maternal grandparents, 25th wedding anniversary (1936).


Workshop content:


Arriving, grounding, warming-up.

Subtle non-verbal communication and connections.

How to see a glass half full, when it is emptying.

Person centered approach: learning to observe non-verbal cues.

The basics of rhythms.

The basics of music and songs.


Sensing limitations and possibilities.


My maternal grandparents, date unknown.


Workshop outcomes:


You will be able to how to approach a person with advanced dementia

for the purpose of a ‘Rhythm Beat (dementia) Blues’ session.

You will recognise non-verbally cues to determine what to do next as part of a person-centred approach.

You will understand how music and songs can be used to establish a meaningful interaction

and connection between yourself and somebody with advanced dementia.

You will know how to intuitively ascertain the possibilities and limitations of a session.

Marcel Baaijens, 5 months old, Amersfoort, Netherlands.


Workshop schedule and fees:


Workshops are scheduled on request

Languages: English, Dutch, German.

Duration 2.5 hours

Morning, afternoon, evening, weekends

Fees guide €25, £25, AUD40 p.p., min 15 people.

Contact here.

Marcel Baaijens, age 2.5,  Amersfoort's 700th anniversary parade.


Workshop creator and facilitator:


Marcel Baaijens is a multi-creative Dutch New Zealander.

He is a certified dance tutor (LBV Cert. Netherlands),

a qualified art educator (M.A.A.E. School of the Art Institute, Chicago).

and architect (MSc in Architecture, University of Delft, Netherlands).

He also trained in Holistic Pulsing, (New Zealand), Interactive Drawing Therapy (New Zealand),

Touch of Matrix (Netherlands) and Dementia Essentials, Dementia Training (Australia).


Marcel has over 30 years experience as a dance and art educator.

He is the creator of Sitdance, Founder of the world’s first inclusive tertiary art education programme (New Zealand).

He works globally and has a base in New Zealand and Europe.

Contact Marcel here.