In our Musica workshops at the moment we have been talking about Spring, it is meant to be just around the corner, although as I sit here typing looking out at the rain lashing down I’m not so sure! If you have experienced a Musica workshop you will know that we use music as a tool for reminiscence, and we love to hear the memories associated with particular pieces of music.
I gave a talk the other day on the power of music and memory recall, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. We all know from personal experience that there is a strong link between music and memories, we may associate particular songs with our teenage years, our first love, special holidays etc.
Even in severe dementia, musical memory can be spared, music can still bring back memories that may have been long forgotten. Seeing the first-hand effects of music is just amazing, in a recent project we delivered, we saw residents who normally found it difficult to communicate, but were able to sing songs from start to finish, and sometimes would even sing on their own.
In one session we sang ‘That’s Amore’ and were amazed to hear one resident speaking in Italian, it turned out that he had lived in Italy for many years, and this song had sparked many memories for him. The staff had never known this aspect of his life history, and so the music helped with the staff/resident relationship. This is fantastic for the staff as it can provide an insight into the individual’s life story, but it is also great for their visitors too, as they may feel more of a connection at that moment in time.
For more information on the connection between music and the brain, I recommend taking 3 minutes out of your day to watch this insightful video, music truly is amazing!
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