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 Care, Brooklyn, New York
MUSIC & MEMORY® works with individual professionals or an entire team of caregivers within your organization, from aides to music therapists and nurses, along with family members, to create a powerful personalized music program for each person who chooses to participate.
Through webinar training and consulting services tailored to the needs of your facility, we provide detailed direction and support.
Our comprehensive guidance, including two 90-minute webinars taught by Music & Memory Executive Director Dan Cohen, MSW, plus a year of coaching support via monthly conference calls and one-to-one consultations, as needed, covers all aspects of a successful Music & Memory program:
Why It Works
- How the brain ties music to memory
- How personalized therapeutic music enables the listener to reconnect, regain social skills and live more fully
Therapeutic Benefits of Personalized Music
- 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 medications
How to Create a Successful Program
- Establishing an iTunes library
- Sharing songs legally
- Setting up personalized playlists
- Acquiring and managing equipment, including security and hygiene
- Gaining staff buy-in
- Engaging families
- Building community advocacy and support
- Effective assessment tools
- Best practices for measuring outcomes to improve program success
The hours you invest in creating a Music & Memory personalized music program are paid back as residents and clients feel happier, more social, less anxious—just more able to enjoy life—and staff regain valuable time for person-centered care.
As we all know from hearing that song associated with a first love or leaving home for good, music is profoundly linked to personal memories.
In fact, our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory.
Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things—names, places, facts—is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.
Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.
Persons with dementia, Parkinson’s and other diseases that damage brain chemistry also reconnect to the world and gain improved quality of life from listening to personal music favorites.
In this video excerpt from a September 13, 2012, segment of The Doctors TV that featured Music & Memory, host Dr. Travis Stork explains how the brain processes music and Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, explains what happens to the brain when affected by dementia and why musical memories are preserved:
The benefits of personalized therapeutic music have been well-studied and documented by distinguished researchers, including Music & Memory board member Dr. Connie Tomaino and Dr. Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, co-founders of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function.
To learn more, please visit our section on Music and the Brain.