Everyone has heard the expression "Music has charms to soothe the savage beast".
While our loved ones living with alzheimer's can be difficult at times, no one would describe them as savage beasts! However the truth of the expression remains... like our previous article pointed out about art, music has the ability to reach the person who is otherwise locked inside themselves, perhaps unable to communicate the way they once did -or at all.
But what is it about music that has this power?
Experts have learned that there are many aspects.
We've all had the experience of hearing a few bars of a song, and being instantly brought back to a time or place from long ago. Music is very powerful in evoking emotional response as well as memory. It is amazing to see an elderly person break into a smile and tell a story a song reminded them of! You can almost literally see the years fall off and a glimpse of the once young person through the aged person in front of you.
Oddly, it's also been proven that people who had any kind of musical skill or talent often retain those abilities even after they are unable to do most other things.
It can even be as simple as music being fun, engaging, and a way to cast off your troubles. Break out a piano and some old favourites and let Grandma or Grandpa show their stuff!
The study of music, like the study of language, has actually been proven to build neurological pathways in the brain. Continuing to exercise this part of the brain is beneficial to both the intellect and the emotions.
According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, even just LISTENING to music can help to relieve stress and depression, as well as assauge boredom in people of all ages.
The true healing power of music, is only just beginning to be understood.
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Tracy Lamourie is the President and Creative Director of Lamourie Public Relations & Marketing. In that world, she represents clients as diverse as politicians, entertainment figures, newsmakers, ethical businesses and not for profit groups whose aims she supports. Tracy also has a lot of media experience - radio, TV, newspapers and new media. She’s worked at various times as a television host, television producer, and radio host. She’s also a human rights and social justice activist with a long history of work on various international and local issues Tracy and her work on various social justice issues have also been featured on television broadcasts as varied as CBC’s The Fifth Estate, Court TV, A & E, CTV across North America.