Memory and Alzheimer’s, Music Can Help

Neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks works with Alzheimer’s patients occasionally.  Take a second to watch this video of an old man named Henry from Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn, NY reacting to hearing music from his era.    Isn’t it amazing how the man’s reaction changed after listening to familiar music?

Alzheimer’s patients often have their good days and bad, but when you see the spark come back into that person, it can make your whole day or week.  This man may not remember his daughter, but he does remember how the music made him feel.  These memories also come flooding back each time a familiar favorite is played for people without Alzheimer’s.

A recent study from researcher Brandon Ally, a School of Medicine assistant professor of neurology at Boston University suggests that music may also help people with dementia retain new information.  The study suggests that it helps subjects focus and retain the information easier.  The healthy elderly participants remembered just as much with or without the music.  The thought is that those living with Alzheimer’s can use the music to remember important items and help them keep their independence a little longer.

The interesting fact in both these stories though is the connection of music and learning.  One can only infer that music is an important learning tool for all regardless of age.

Many children hear music before they are even born.  They learn many important items through song, such as their ABC’s and basic counting regardless of which culture they come from or what language those around them speak.  I can attest that my daughter has picked up on simple items such as identifying body parts when she hears “Head, should, knees and toes.”  We should foster the enjoyment of music in our children no matter what kind of music they have a preference for so that it can serve them well all throughout their lives.

Kindermusik curriculum is backed by strong research and can help your child lay a good foundation for learning in school and in life.  Come see the difference a class can make in your child’s life.  Summer Adventures classes begin mid-May.  Contact me to preview a Kindermusik with Dominique class for Free.

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