Music in My Heart

This is a really beautiful video clip about a nursing home resident’s response to music: The Power of Music
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Music has the power to bring people together, heal, uplift, and transform the lives of many. Many years ago, I met a woman who used to be a piano teacher. Struggling with late-stage Parkinson’s disease, she could barely lift her head or speak. Whenever I sat her in front of the piano, she would start playing. Always with one finger, always slow and unsteady. It wasn’t what anyone would refer to as a “song” but to those of us who met with her on a regular basis, it became the song of her life. Behind that blank stare, we saw a steady glow of love for music, for life, and for the man who continued to stand by her.

One of my music therapist friends used to tell me she thought she’s one of the luckiest people in the world, because she could engage in her favorite activity every day at work. I know she’s right.

Does music play a part in your professional/ caregiving experience?

I know it’s played a big role in mine…

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About C

If you consider volunteering at a luncheon for older adults as my first exposure to the field, I have been in geropsychology for at least twenty years. As family, friend, volunteer, trainee, and professional, I have found myself in adult day care centers, senior centers, senior living facilities, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric wards, hospice, and personal homes of older adults. Wherever I go, be it an orphanage, a museum, a prison, an airport, or a random corner in the neighborhood, issues related to aging and mental health often come to mind. I used to think that I could make a difference only if I became a top-notch researcher, educator, or clinician. As I continue to follow this meandering path, it dawns on me that as a nobody in the field, I can still add my light to the sum of light by sharing what I know. Over the years, I have "converted" a few very dedicated individuals to focus on aging-related work within their respective disciplines and encouraged a handful more to stay in this field despite its winding course. I believe by bringing aging and mental health issues to the foreground, we will amass a stronger force to promote advocacy, research, and quality care.
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One Response to Music in My Heart

  1. Doris says:

    I saw the video yesterday and it truly got me teary eyed.

    I have had several wonderful experiences with my nursing home residents in which music has been an important tool. The most powerful one I remember was about a total-care lady, with advanced dementia, non-verbal, and her response to piano music when one day I played a CD, and started to touch her finger tips, following the rhythm. It was amazing.

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