Music & Memory
This organization is a long-time favorite of mine. Recently entering its tenth year, Music & Memory is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.
In April 2012, a documentary about our work, Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, was previewed at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. A video clip of Henry, one of the residents reawakened by listening to his Cab Calloway favorites, went viral, now with more than 11 million views, boosting awareness and enthusiastic interest in our program.
As a musician, I can personally attest to the power of music. According to Music & Memory, researchers at University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City used brain imaging to demonstrate that familiar music may facilitate attention, reward and motivation, which in turn makes it more possible to manage emotional distress for people with dementia.
A pilot study at Columbia Health Care, Wisconsin, published in conjunction with Stephen Post, PhD, of Stony Brook University Hospital, indicates that listening to personal music favorites improves swallowing in individuals with advanced dementia, making eating easier and potentially diminishing reliance on feeding tubes.
In Scottsdale, Arizona, Kari Johnson, PhD, RN, with HonorHealth, examined the connection between listening to favorite music and delirium prevention in hospital trauma ICU settings. Her controlled study found that patients in the music intervention group experienced a statistically significant reduction in physiological measures of anxiety, a major factor in delirium onset.
I invite you to peruse their website and learn more about this amazing organization.