How Music Touches The Aged
What is still there, within silent, impassive elders?
How can they be reached, revived, made happier?
This video suggests something more can be done, with mind, with balance.
It comes from Australia, from the ABC Science outlet, and it shows elders, people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other debilitating conditions, responding to the universal blessing – music – and its partner, dance.
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At this point, you might prefer to just watch.
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But let me add this: I was hooked in the first few minutes because the video reminds me of my mother’s last months in the very nice Chapin Home in Jamaica, Queens.
She had suffered a stroke plus other indignities of old age, and she rarely spoke.
Sometimes my wife would pop in with CDs of operas we knew my mother loved -- “La Boheme” or “Madame Butterfly”-- and my mother would smile with recognition.
She did not burst into song or try to dance to “Musetta’s Waltz” but she surely perked up. A few times she even spoke my wife’s name.
Some of the other residents would migrate to the room, and listen to the music, which brought smiles and nods and humming memories of the past.
In this video, the Australian network delves into the science and the mysteries of the impact of music, but there is so much more to be learned. My wife, who knows more than I do about the science of the brain, asks if, by watching these transformations, couldn’t therapists use the power of music, the muscle memory of youth, to enable daily physical and mental action?
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I can tell you this: my kids and grandkids could dig up the music that stirs me, right from my vintage iPod with the click wheel.
My thanks to Bruce-from-Canada, for calling my attention to the Australian science video.
1/27/2021 04:20:41 pm
This was wonderful
1/27/2021 06:37:01 pm
Bruce. Great story that brought tears.
1/27/2021 08:07:42 pm
alan,,,glad you enjoyed it. the last woman got me teary.
1/27/2021 08:12:48 pm
1/27/2021 04:32:06 pm
1/28/2021 12:12:28 pm
1/29/2021 01:04:38 pm
Thanks GV, Bruce, for sharing this. i have been reading of the increasing use of music in nursing homes, Alzheimer care, etc. It seems to be stimulating a change in care, focusing on enjoyments by the patients, instead of trying to “train.”
1/29/2021 02:39:31 pm
1/30/2021 08:42:18 am
Thanks for this, everyone. It is a good reminder, and served as a reminder for me to remind my children that - um . . . er . . . what?
1/30/2021 09:12:19 am
Comments are closed.
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.