I’ve just finished an article that describes a celebratory Independence Day musical activity for people with memory loss, held at Iona Senior Services in Washington, DC. This illustrates, once again, how familiar music appears to short circuit, at least temporarily, certain aspects of dementia, because the act of singing or listening to the music reconnects people to … Continue reading
Tagged with music …
Dad Just Needed an Old-Fashioned Radio
I wondered whether memories and information about the older model radio, a type that he used many years ago, might be stored in his long-term memory and make a similar radio easy to use. If I was right, he might automatically turn the dial and get his music. Continue reading
Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, and the Miracle of Music
We were driving home from a delightful lunch at a Thai restaurant — my husband, me, and my mother and dad. In one of those quirks of the digital age, my iPhone connected with the car’s bluetooth function, and suddenly the car was filled with music. We all hummed along and smiled as Tony Bennett … Continue reading
The Unforgettables: More on Music, the Brain & Dementia
Check out this delightful TV video about The Unforgettables — a chorus in New York City that includes people with dementia — that includes an interview with a physician who is conducting research about music and the brain.
Music, the Brain, Aging, and Memory Diseases
We live with music throughout our lives — it surrounds people no matter what their age. Children, of course, love to sing at almost as soon as they are born, but music, even for those who are not musicians, is a part of the air people breathe. Interestingly, music appears to become even more important as people age and contributes … Continue reading
Music that Heals the Soul
Music by itself cannot heal a disease. No one these days, however, disputes that music can heal the soul, making illness more bearable. Some time ago I wrote about Alive Inside, a movie that documents the success of therapeutic music programs with elderly participants who have dementia of Alzheimers. The program, started by Dan Cohen, pairs … Continue reading
So How Does Music Connect With the Brain?
I’ve watched in wonder as music changes people — kids, adults, people who are ill, elders, and caregivers. Of course, the movie Alive Inside visually documents how music can affect people, even those with substantial memory loss. But what exactly is happening in the brain? In the process of wondering, I came across an excellent video … Continue reading
The Alive Inside Documentary Is Now Available at iTunes
Last summer my husband and I saw the documentary Alive Inside, and we were amazed at the power of music. Well actually we already knew a fair amount the power of music, but seeing people with advanced dementia become more articulate and communicative — and even feel better — made us realize how powerfully music can relieve at least … Continue reading
Alive Inside: This Movie Is Extraordinary!
You know a movie speaks to the audience when people just sit there as the credits start to roll rather than getting up and moving out. That’s what happened this evening when my husband and I went to see Alive Inside, the Sundance award-winning documentary about the role that music plays in the lives of elderly people who … Continue reading
Does Musical Training Influence Cognitive Aging?
Does musical training have any effect on the aging brain? Scientists at the University of Kansas Medical Center asked this question. They wondered whether the experience of learning and practicing an instrument and the resulting sensorimotor and cognitive abilities might help a person much later when aging changes begin to occur. In The Relation Between … Continue reading