Hear your favorite song playing in your mind. What images does the song conjure? Maybe it’s times with friends, the first dance at your wedding or another special memory that’s close to your heart.
Music has the power to spark memories, even in people who can no longer willfully weave in and out of the past in their minds. Those living with dementia may no longer be able to recall what they had for breakfast, or remember the names of their children—but through music, they can tap into who they are at their very core. For this reason, music is a very effective form of therapy for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Music is also at the center of Wingate at Hampden’s memory care program.
Wingate at Hampden’s on-staff, certified music therapist Renee Coro facilitates one-on-one and group therapy sessions ranging from high energy drumming to intergenerational group sessions with children from the local community. In July 2015, Renee was approached by a resident who wrote poetry and asked about putting her poems to music. The resident’s idea? Start a songwriting group where other residents could discuss song themes, share stories and memories and socialize in a safe space. This endeavor quickly morphed into a songwriting group that attracted a dozen residents.
Over the past year, the group, known as “Treble Makers,” created and recorded an album of “Songs from the Heart,” inspired by their memories, relationships and common appreciation for life.
We are very excited to share the fruits of this labor of love with you via a short documentary about Hampden’s music therapy program. Watch the trailer below and go to wingateathampden.com to learn more about music therapy and our memory care program.