There are several clinical studies of elderly populations that suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia which show that familiar and pleasant music can decrease agitation, reduce depression, increase movement and sociability, as well as improve cognitive ability and decrease problem behaviors BETTER than medicine. Recently, I was privileged to encounter this phenomenon up close and in person.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of music. I spent many years playing my own music, and I’ve spent thousands of hours at music festivals and live shows, connecting with the energy in each note. As a kid, I remember sitting in the backseat of my mom’s car and singing along to all of her favorite artists she’d play over and over on cassette tapes.
Anytime I hear those songs now, I remember what it felt like to sing them with my mom as we cruised along the roadways of southwestern Pennsylvania. I can vividly recall the carefree feeling, the happiness, the smiles, and most of all how the music would flow through us, deepening our mother-daughter bond with each note.