Dementia Music Therapy: Broadway Songs

Mother Weston’s New York trips were legendary. Each trip included a balance of shopping, museum visits, plays, and Broadway musicals. From the early 1950’s until the mid 1980’s she and father made at least one and sometimes two trips to NYC each year usually for more than a week.

Her love of Broadway musicals continued until a year or so ago, when she lost the ability to sit and watch the movie versions of South Pacific, The King and I, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and many more. However, we’ve discovered that many songs, or at least parts of them, are right there in her head. We just have to provide cues that help her remember.

So each time we visit I try to sing a few lines of a Broadway show. And sure enough, if I get her started she will join in, singing along with me and completely on tune. She gets great pleasure from this though she cannot focus for long and tires easily.

Today we went over melodies from Guys and Dolls — Take Back Your Mink, Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat, Luck be a Lady Tonight, and Follow the Fold.

Often, after I get her started, she knows the words and can finish the lines much more accurately than I can, and she smiles broadly.

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2 thoughts on “Dementia Music Therapy: Broadway Songs

  1. Pingback: Dementia Patients and Inner City Teens: Friendship « As Our Parents Age

  2. Pingback: Music, the Brain, Aging, and Memory Diseases | As Our Parents Age

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