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The Power of Music with Alzheimer’s Patients

April 7th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Music with Alzheimer's patients

You’ve probably heard of how powerful familiar music is with Alzheimer’s patients.  When I first stepped into the field of music medicine, one of the first research studies that I did dealt with “The Therapeutic Use of Music with Alzheimer’s Patients.”  In a nutshell, it seems that the music that you listen to during your “courting years” is the music that remains most powerful in your brain and your body for the rest of your life.  As Dr. Joel Elkes put it to me, when people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is as though the “doors” to knowledge, awareness and memories close.  For some reason, the “door” to music remains open, therefore people who are in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease can still hear the music of their “courting years” and respond by tapping their feet, their fingers or nodding their heads.  Occasionally people will even begin singing along even though they never or rarely talk anymore.

For this reason, I recorded at CD of many of the old songs from the turn of the 19th century though the 40’s.  It contains songs such as “Tip-toe through the Tulips,” “In the Good Old Summertime,” “Ain’t She Sweet” and many, many more.  If you’re interested in getting this CD, click HERE.  You can also listen to some samples of the songs at the same place. 

If you have a friend or loved one with Alzheimer’s please play their favorite, old familiar music for them.  Live music is always best, if possible.  I do travel around the country speaking about this and other healing music topics.  If your organization, church, school or association would be interested in having one of these programs, click HERE.  Hope to visit your town soon!