According to the New York State Department of Health, rhythmic activities are all activities that are based on regular and prominent beats. Rhythmic body movements, auditory stimulation, musical instruments, chanting and singing are some activities that individuals can partake with a trained leader as rhythmic activities for therapeutic effects.
The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function handbook on rhythmic activities found on the Department of Health's website states that these activities are among the most effective methods for building a communal experience among residents suffering from dementia. These activities benefit patients at all stages of dementia, early- to late-stage. Patients can participate through breath, body movements and eye contact if they cannot communicate or play instruments.