At Merrymakers we provide thousands of professional musical performances each year. Each visit brings with it talented artists trained at the art of brightening people’s lives through song. Each tune, each melody has the potential to strike a chord with someone’s memory.
What Can Music Do?
Music is effective in slowing the regression of speech and language skills. Rhythm-based exercises paired with words can enhance speech intelligibility. Because music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, music may be used as a tool to access language in ways that verbal language cannot. As dementia progresses and the ability to speak is lost, many people are still able to sing favorite songs or hum.
Music can be used to maintain memory organization and attention processing. Long-term memory holds our rehearsed music. It is processed in the emotional part of the brain, the amygdala. This is where you remember music played at your wedding, dating years, and that first kiss. In this way, music acts as a bridge, allowing individuals to tap into stored musical memories that are not damaged by disease.
Dancing, exercising and music movement activities can help the body to coordinate and recover body functions. For instance, using instruments (such as drums) can be a motivating way to improve purposeful hand use and range of motion for the arms.