MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certification Program

Help Your Residents and Clients Find Joy Again
 Regain Valuable Staff Time for Person-Centered Care

Managing daily pressures and demands—difficult residents or clients, medical emergencies, staffing shortages, must-do paperwork, must-meet regulations—it all adds up to a challenging environment.

All too often, you or your staff may feel like you don’t have a minute to spare, even as you want to spend more personal time with each individual.

But what if you could change all that—regain valuable time, improve residents’ or clients’ quality of life, foster a calm and cooperative social environment, decrease reliance on anti-psychotic medications—while offering uplifting, personal care?

Discover the Healing Power of Personalized Music 

The MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certification Program enables you to do just that. Grounded in extensive neuroscience research about how our brains respond to music, tested and proven in hundreds of long-term care facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, our personalized music system has provided therapeutic benefits for thousands of residents, clients and staff. Again and again, care professionals tell us that our program is often life-changing for everyone involved:

  • Finally, a way to give pleasure to persons with advanced dementia
  • Offers an enjoyable, fulfilling activity for persons in dialysis, on vent or bed-bound
  • Increases cooperation and attention, reduces resistance to care—a real boost for staff morale
  • Reduces agitation and sundowning
  • Enhances engagement and socialization, fostering a calmer social environment
  • Provides a valuable tool for the effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications
“iPods are making a huge impact here in Wisconsin. I have about 30 iPods in use at this time. Families are excited about how some of their loved ones are more engaged in conversation, in better moods, and actually awake and more engaged throughout the day. Staff are asking for more involvement as they are seeing more cooperation with cares, meals, etc. We also have various children’s groups coming in, and telling them about this program seems to be giving them a connection with the older population.” —Deb Jacoby, Rocky Knoll Health Care Center, Plymouth, Wisconsin

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Certification Program:
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Help Your Residents and Clients Reconnect to the World

Music is, of course, a popular recreational activity in elder care facilities, with good reason. Residents love performances and sing-alongs. Music uplifts the spirit.

But group-based music programs, while meaningful, are time-bound and designed for broad appeal. Selections are age-appropriate, but not necessarily personal.

By contrast, research shows that personalized music playlists, delivered using iPods or related digital audio devices, have the capacity to transform quality of life for individuals struggling with a wide range of physical and cognitive impairments.

Give the Musical Key to Unlocking Memory

Here’s why: Musical memory is profoundly linked to emotions. These memories are stored deep in the brain. While Alzheimer’s damages the ability to recall facts and details, it does not destroy these lasting connections between a favorite song and memory of an important life event, no matter how long ago.

When individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia hear a melody connected with a meaningful memory, they can re-awaken. Many people who have not spoken in years find words and sing lyrics. They often regain the ability to converse and connect to those around them. The key is a personalized playlist.

The transformation can be nothing short of miraculous. Meet Henry, who spent years locked in his mind by dementia, as he listens to his Music & Memory personalized playlist:

How the MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certification Program Works

As a MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certified Care Facility, you and your professional team of caregivers will learn best practices for how to set up and manage a system for providing a personalized playlist for any resident or client who might benefit.

A series of three 90-minute webinars, taught by Music & Memory founding Executive Director Dan Cohen, MSW, will enable your team to create a facility-ready iTunes library, efficiently manage many resident playlists, handle equipment and security concerns, integrate personalized digital music into your daily care plans, and evaluate the program’s effectiveness.

Here’s more of what you’ll learn:

Webinar I: Getting Started
  • How those we care for benefit from personalized music
  • How personalized music helps persons with Alzheimer’s—the science behind the transformation
  • What researchers have discovered about personalized music as a therapeutic tool
  • Which members of the leadership team need to be involved, and how
  • How to overcome initial staff concerns
  • How personalized music reduces resistance to care
  • How to secure program support from community groups
  • How to significantly reduce use of antipsychotic, anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications
  • How to measure program success
  • How to minimize loss and theft of iPods and headphones
Webinar II: Setting Up Your iTunes Library and Personalized Playlists
  • How to set up and manage personalized music in your care facility within the boundaries of legal music sharing
  • How to create a totally customized playlist for each individual, even if she has no voice
  • When and how family and staff should be involved to help with playlist creation
  • How to use your facility’s collection of CDs and acquire additional music to set up and manage an “industrial strength” iTunes library
  • How to update your library and ensure that music is easy to find and retrieve
  • Going beyond the music: How to help individuals gain access to the Bible, audiobooks, podcasts, TV shows, movies and apps
Webinar III: Acquiring and Managing iPods; Community Engagement
  • How to obtain free iPods and the resources to pay for music
  • How to engage family and community volunteers in an iPod collection drive
  • Best practices for iPod and headphone storage, maintenance and hygiene concerns
  • How to teach elders to use and care for their iPods
  • Access to and use of support forms, documents and marketing materials via Music & Memory’s Cloud storage (Dropbox)
Bonus: A Full Year of Coaching Support to Ensure Your Success

As you and your professional team develop your pilot Music & Memory program, we will provide a full year of coaching support via regularly scheduled conference calls and one-to-one consultations, as needed. Our goal is to ensure that your care facility launches a successful program that can be expanded over time to meet the needs of all.

“Just want to share a fabulous result we had this week with one of our participants. His name is Bill and it had been noted by the dietician that he had been losing weight. Staff reported that Bill would get up from the diningroom table 2-3 times during a meal and go back to his room to lie down. Bill frequently requires to be fed his meal now, even though he is capable of feeding himself. Tried an experiment on Tuesday. His iPod was placed on him during the meal, he stayed in his seat and ate his entire meal independently. This outcome was documented by the dietician in his chart and is now being tried with all his meals. Wow!!!!”    —Paula Graham, Research and Administrative Assistant, Atlantic Institute on Aging

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More Benefits of Your Certification Training

As a MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certified Care Facility, you and your professional team will become part of our growing network. Benefits include:

  • Training of up to two new staff per year, at no additional cost
  • Designation as a recipient site for Music & Memory volunteers and iPod donation drives in your area
  • Access to our Best Practices Resource Bank of marketing materials, forms, policies and procedures that have been tested and proven in our certified facilities
  • Listing as a MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certified Care Facility on our website, a great resource for families seeking care facilities in their communities that offer the benefits of personalized music

Gain Back Valuable Time for Personal, Quality Care

The hours that you and your team invest in creating a Music & Memory personalized music program at your facility will be paid back as you enable residents to feel happier, more social, less anxious—just more able to enjoy life.

Across hundreds of MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certified Care Facilities, we hear the same feedback:

  • As residents or clients listen to their playlists, you’ll experience a mood shift: less agitation, fewer demands for attention.
  • Staff and residents or clients enjoy a continuous flow of unexpected, positive outcomes.
  • Individuals are calmer, engage in more appropriate social behavior.
  • Staff feel energized and uplifted as once-remote individuals come alive and reconnect.
  • Individuals look forward to listening to their iPods as a valued activity.
  • Family and staff are able to connect in a more meaningful way with their loved ones around music and memories.
  • A more peaceful social environment, where individuals are engaged in the personal, independent activity of listening to their own music, significantly frees up staff time and energy.
“Despite the enormous sums of money spent on mood- and behavior-altering medications that are often not particularly effective, nothing compares to these iPods when it comes to improving quality of life.”
—Tony Lewis, President and CEO, Cobble Hill Health Center, Brooklyn, New York

Experience Therapeutic Benefits of the MUSIC & MEMORY℠
Certification Program:
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Matching Grants for Non-Profit Care Facilities

The total cost of the MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certification Program is $1,000, plus the cost of equipment, for a total of about $2,000. Non-profit care facilities receive a $600 matching grant to help cover start-up equipment costs, including 15 iPods (6 new shuffles + 9 gently used iPods), 15 headphones, 15 AC adapters, and iTunes gift card ($50, U.S. only).

Your certification training program includes:

  • Orientation and training in a 4.5 hour course (three 90-minute webinars) taught by Music & Memory founding Executive Director Dan Cohen, MSW
  • Regularly scheduled conference calls to support your program for one year
  • One-to-one consultation as needed for one year
  • Training of up to two new staff per year, at no additional cost.

Individual proprietary facilities must supply at least 15 iPods to initiate training. Discounts are available for groups of facilities under the same ownership.

Upon successful completion of the training program, your facility will become a MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certified Care Facility—proof to residents, clients and their families that you are at the forefront of person-centered care.

Spring Webinar Schedule

March 11, 12, 13 1:00-2:30 EST
April 15, 16, 17 1:00-2:30 EST
May 13, 14, 15 1:00-2:30 EST


We would be pleased to tell you more about how our MUSIC & MEMORY℠ Certification Program has transformed the lives of residents, clients and professionals. Please contact us with any questions:

Experience  Therapeutic Benefits of the MUSIC & MEMORY℠
Certification Program:
  Get Started