Music and Alzheimer’s Disease

Portrait of a Senior couple and microphone

Today, research is exploding with the positive impact music has on patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Music is being proven to be an effective NO-DRUG method to awaken and engage patients struggling with memory loss and depression. Music Therapy is becoming an essential component to individual treatment plans to awaken memories and restore cognitive abilities.

Two years ago, Mrs. O’s Studio adopted a local memory care center as a means for her students to give back to the community. Once a month, on Saturday afternoons, a handful of students perform a wide array of piano and instrumental music for the residents. The parents and performers have witnessed many amazing responses to the music. Residents who seemed to be asleep will awaken, sit taller in their chairs, and keep their eyes focused on these youngsters. Residents will hum along and then burst out into song during renditions of show tunes, patriotic themes, holiday carols, and, especially, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”! It is a gift to see their faces light up with a spark in their eyes and their enthusiasm renewed as they engage in conversations with the students.

Doctors and scientists are only just beginning to understand the power of music. The evidence clearly suggests that music evokes emotions, which awakens memories. Research shows that musical aptitude and appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities with those afflicted with memory loss diseases. Music can evoke physical responses, like singing and dancing, which are engaging activities that can lift the spirit. Science has repeatedly proven over the past three decades that performing and listening to music shows significantly increased use of areas of the brain and heightened brain stimulation. And, we don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that music has the power to shift our mood, manage our stress, lift us out of depression and stimulate positive thoughts and interactions!

Are you tapping into your personal music power?