Resources on the Healing Power of Music

So I am starting this post in the hopes that it can be a gathering spot for research on the healing power of music. My mother has dementia and I have learned that when I play the correct types of music she becomes less stressed, more relaxed, more engaged and generally more healthy. I just read an article from the most recent AARP issue specifically addressing music, memory and brain health. A great read.

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My mother is in her 80s. I have found a steady diet of 5 to 15 CDS from the era of my mothers 20s to 40s age wise help. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong together never gets old. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennet etc.

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Thank you. Oliver is an amazing source of information. What an innovative human. Your post is a great compilation.

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I read that a few years ago. It’s excellent.

And not quite what you are looking for, but I suspect still of interest.

In Absolutely on Music, internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami sits down with his friend Seiji Ozawa, the revered former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of conversations on their shared passion: music.

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Could get my next book. Would be the third I have on my bench just now, written by brain surgeons/scientists or neurologists, they seem to hunt me.

Great topic.
My mother’s dementia kicked in in her mid-90s.
Even towards the end (she died at 101), when she didn’t know me, didn’t speak, could barely be spoon fed, she was comforted by her favorite music, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, etc. I could see a sense of calm come over her when she recognized the familiar music.
BTW–closed back headphones shut out the noise of the nursing home and she seemed to like that even more.
She also responded to scents from fresh flowers, basil, soap that my father liked.

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My wife spent hours with her dad in his final years after his wife passed. He didn’t remember much, but Louis Armstrong was good medicine: “how could anyone not like this music,” he would say every time.

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Never thought of the closed back headphones. Fortunately her room is quiet but can see all sorts of situations when the quiet of closed back headphones could be useful.

My best friend and professional mentor died, at home, several years ago from multiple myeloma. During his last hours his wife played his favorite music over their alexa/sonos system. Despite the awful sound (according to me) the music served to calm and relax us all. And when the mortuary crew wheeled him out to the sounds of “let it be” we all knew Bill was well cared for.

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I studied Neuroscience Music Therapy at Colorado State University for a bit. There’s plenty of interesting studies and data out there. You could find a certified Music Therapist to potentially help your Mom. It’s like magic in certain cases. That your mom is clearly responsive to music supports such an effort. Music for non-musical purposes!

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I just discovered this organization. Anyone heard of it.