The Healing Power of Music

More than five million people in the US have Alzheimer’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss, confusion, restlessness, and mood swings. Mary Ellen Geist, author of the “The Healing Power of Music” goes into detail about exactly this; “music can be good medicine”. Jane Flinn, a behavioral neuroscientist at George Mason University, tested the effects of singing on people with Alzheimer’s disease with two songs, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Isn’t It Romantic?”  Flinn displayed that the mental keenness of those people who regularly sang improved sharply over a four months. Sutton Homes participates in music activities in all their homes, allowing residents to walk down memory lane by playing their favorite songs. This “medicine” is so beneficial to the community as a whole as it can ease the pain of family members just like it did for the father in the article. Playing songs by Frank Sinatra calmed his mother down during sun-downing, a certain time where residents feel anxiety and angst. Comforting music like this relieves the pain of loved ones, knowing their mom or dad is happily singing along to the lyrics.


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