Music has been around as long as we have. It evolves with languages and time, and exists in virtually all cultures.
As loved and celebrated as music is for its cultural contributions, music affects us so much more profoundly than many may realize. Music has an effect on your mind, body and spirit… It awakens, stimulates, and heals.
|Image from http://ithp.org/articles/musictherapy.html|
Above all, listening to music has incredible health benefits. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to help individuals improve and maintain their health. Several studies have shown that music therapy has positive effects on brain function, memory, and mood regulation. For seniors, music therapy can help slow the progression of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia, and can aid recovery from stroke. (ParentYourParents.com)
Music is so central in seniors' lives, that Brookdale Senior Living has implemented a 12-month musical enrichment program, which features a different genre of music every month. April is all about Jazz!
Tanum Ollila, the Sales and Marketing Manager for Brookdale Place of Ann Arbor explained, "music is one of the first things we hear, and one of the last things to go." (AnnArbor.com)
At Northwestern, a study was conducted to measure automatic brain responses of younger and older musicians to determine music's long term effects on the brain. The findings indicated that older musicians not only outperformed their same-age non-musical counterparts, but that they encoded sound stimuli as quickly and accurately as younger non-musicians. Nina Kraus, Northwestern neuroscientist and professor explained: "“This reinforces the idea that how we actively experience sound over the course of our lives has a profound effect on how our nervous system functions.” Don Caspary, a nationally known researcher at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine said this study's findings "support the idea that the brain can be trained to overcome, in part, some age-related hearing loss." (Northwestern.edu)
Connected Living is offering a musical therapy solution on our Connected Living Network. We're also planning additional programming such as our "Music and the Brain" discussion groups.
Ambassador Kami Naughton spiced up the discussion, by bringing in her ukulele and playing "Name that Tune" with the residents. She said the residents were so excited and guessed every tune correctly before passing around the instrument to allow everyone a turn at creating some original music!
Two residents try their hand at playing the Ukulele
Additionally, music brings joy! As you can see in this short clip of an older couple goofing around and playing the piano, they are still enjoying the benefits of music:
These three are also having a great time dancing to Michael Jackson's Billy Jean:
If any of our residents think you've got some moves or can play a musical instrument, ask your ambassador to send us a video of you! We'd love to showcase more of our own talent!