Music and Memory

Music and Memory
January 13, 2017 LearnMusic.Guide

Back in September 2016, we brought you the story of the Songaminute Man! The article covered the story of Ted Mcdermott. Ted suffers from Alzheimers and struggles to remember many day to day things. However, having previously worked as a Redcoat at Butlins, he never forgets the lyrics to the big band numbers he once performed. Take a look at the full story here.

There are currently an estimated 850,000 people suffering with dementia in the UK and the numbers are set to rise. At Learn Music Guide we have always championed the power of music and this short video is just another testimony to that.

This short excerpt is taken from Alive Inside, a documentary covering the effects of music on Alzheimers patients currently residing in nursing homes. Henry is one of these patients. He had been suffering from seizures and his wife was not able to care for him by herself and so he had been moved into a residential care home.

The staff at the home turned to Music and Memory to set up a music playlist for the patient. The playlist was based on music which Henry’s daughter remembered her father dancing to in younger years. At the beginning of the video, Henry is largely unresponsive and slumped in a chair. Just watch what happens when the earphones are placed on his head.

Henry is immediately changed. His body returns to an upright position and he is mentally and physically moved by the music. When the earphones are removed from Henry, his carers begin to ask him questions and for the first time we see that he is animated, excited even. Recalling that when he was younger he used to attend big dances. He even manages to sing a few lines of his favourite Cab Calloway hit.

Henry is not the only patient to benefit from the healing power of personalised music therapy and the full documentary shows a range of residents benefitting from the experience.

Music has more ability to activate more parts of the brain than any other stimulus. So if you are currently learning to play music online, enjoy the pieces you play, as they may well stay with you until old age.