Statewide Interest in Music & Memory Program Grows

another senior listening to musicALIVE INSIDE, winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award, is a documentary exploring music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. The film chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals from around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music, revealing the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short, particularly in long term care settings.

The documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he demonstrates music’s ability to combat memory loss by restoring a deep sense of self.

Last year, the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) provided funds to implement the Music & Memory program in 12 sites within WPHF’s service area. They include: Winter Park Towers, the Brain Fitness Club, The Gardens at DePugh, Easter Seals Day Break Program, Share the Care, The Mayflower, Sutton Homes Memory Care, Visiting Angels, Florida Hospital Music Therapy Dept., Alzhmeimer’s and Dementia Resource Center, Alzheimer’s Association-Central and North FL Chapter and Serenades Memory Care Assisted Living.

“Since the grant award was announced, I have received a number of calls from individuals in other parts of Florida inquiring about the program,” said Diana Silvey, WPHF Program Director for Older Adults.  “It’s a wonderful program that has demonstrated the ability to enhance the lives of people with memory impairment by reconnecting music they love. The organizations we funded will meet later this year to talk about their experiences implementing the program. I can’t wait to hear their stories.”

Shown at Winter Park Village Cinema as part of a limited engagement in September, 2014, the movie was also shown at WPHF prior to a meeting of the Florida Pioneer Network in late January.  About two dozen people from around Florida came to see the film.  They also came to learn more about the Music and Memory program that uses iPods to deliver personalized playlists to people with memory loss.

Several stayed to discuss how they can support widespread implementation in Florida, Ms. Silvey said.

For more information about the Music and Memory program and the movie ALIVE INSIDE, click here.