“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” - Kalil Gibran
The long-term memories associated with music are housed deep within our brains. Many of the ailments associated with aging have to do with memory loss, but music can act as a key to access some things that may have been lost. People who are suffering from dementia are often lethargic and their gaze is distant, but music breaks through the isolation of their condition. Clients who might not be able to tell you what they had for breakfast will be able to sing along to their favorite tune without missing a word. Music is also a motivator in keeping physically active. In the same way that people may elect to listen to music at the gym to keep themselves going, playing a maraca along to the music seems a lot easier than being asked to pump your arms up and down for three minutes. Like other disorders, with dementia, many things are lost, like independence, memories, and a social life; but music therapy can help to bring the focus around to what clients are still capable of, and enable their abilities. This is also a way for loved ones to interact when things like typical conversations are no longer sustainable. Music is something that spans generations, and can express connections when words are no longer possible.