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Ruby Swift

PhD Student (TAnDem Doctoral Training Centre)

Institute of Health & Society

Contact Details


tel: 01905 542468 or 01905 542531

Twitter: @singingcircles

Ruby Swift is engaged in doctoral research into the potential for personalised music playlists in dementia care to assist in quality of life and communication. She is working within the TAnDem Doctoral Training Centre (DTC), a collaborative partnership between the Universities of Worcester and Nottingham, funded by The Alzheimer’s Society. She is an experienced singing for health practitioner with an interest in applied research in this field.


MA Musicology (2013). University of Wolverhampton; School of Performing Arts.

BA (hons.) Music (2007). University of Wolverhampton; School of Performing Arts.

Teaching, Research and Knowledge Transfer

Teaching, Research and Knowledge Transfer


Ruby is currently conducting a doctoral research project exploring the impact of personalised music playlists on people living with dementia at different stages and in different environmental contexts, including within different family and support relationships. Ongoing research interests include the physiological application of voice work for health and wellbeing.

Ruby is being supervised by Professor Eleanor Bradley at the University of Worcester, Dr Claire Garabedian at the University of Worcester, and Professor Amanda Griffiths at the University of Nottingham. Current project:

Assessing the potential for personalised playlists in dementia care to assist in quality of life and communication. (2016-19), Alzheimer’s Society


Ruby has taught and facilitated singing in a wide variety of contexts including performance choirs, care homes, hospitals and prisons. She is also experienced in teaching within Primary, Secondary and Further education, most recently as an undergraduate lecturer in music and academic skills, and as a Singing for the Brain leader trainer for the Alzheimer’s Society.  

Seminars and Workshops

Swift, R. (February, 2016). Master of Arts workshop: Singing for Health and Wellbeing and the Experience of Sound. Birmingham City University, UK

Swift, R. (April, 2016) Collaborative Working with Arts and Health Presentation: Singing for the Brain. Worcestershire Arts Partnership, UK.


Professional experience and membership

Professional experience and membership

Ruby has worked as a singing for health and wellbeing practitioner for over three years, primarily as a trained Singing for the Brain leader for the Alzheimer’s Society, but also independently in care home and clinical settings for people with dementia, for Parkinson’s UK, as a Singing for Lung Health leader trained by the British Lung Foundation, and for the prison and probation services.

Professional development

Ruby regularly attends creative arts and arts for health trainings and workshops to keep abreast of current developments and to enrich and inform her research and practice. She is also engaged in a Researcher Development Programme as a part of her studies with the University of Worcester.

Professional membership

Alongside her studies, Ruby remains a registered volunteer and Singing for the Brain leader with the Alzheimer’s Society and is a member of:

  • British Society of Gerontology (BSG)
  • Emerging Researcher in Ageing (ERA)
  • National Alliance of Musicians in Healthcare (NAMIH)
  • Natural Voice Network (NVN)
Publications and Dissemination

Publications and Dissemination

Magazine Articles

Stannard, K. & Barnell (Swift), R. (July/August, 2009). Keep Music Education Live. Learning and Teaching Magazine, 14-18.

Academic Publications

Barnell (Swift), R. (2012) Neonatal Nightingales: Live Parental and Neonatal Nurse Infant-Directed Singing as a Beneficial Intervention for the Health and Development of Infants in Neonatal Care. University of Wolverhampton [online]. Available from: