Think about the last song you had stuck in your head because you replayed it over and over again. Was it a happy, upbeat song? Or was it slow and melancholy? The music you listen to is a good indication your feelings and personality. Perhaps the lyrics to that particular song felt relatable, or maybe it was the crescendo of the violins in the orchestra that really spoke to you. Either way, music has the power to evoke powerful emotions for both the artist and the audience.
We have seen music having a therapeutic affect on babies and young children, commonly in the form of lullabies. But music therapy is also an effective technique used to help treat Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Even in very late stages of the disease, music is able to help stabilize mood, reduce stress, and boost motor coordination. We associate music with real life events; a sad song may be linked to heartbreak, or a happy song may remind the patient of a fun trip they took with their best friend. Using appropriate songs can help trigger memories and allow the patient to express him or herself. Even unfamiliar songs have therapeutic qualities; depending on the style of the song, it can be used to stimulate or calm the patient.
Typically, the music that a person listens to most frequently around the ages of 18 to 25 will have the strongest influence, and can benefit the person the most later on in life. So the next time you hear a song, soak up your surroundings and reflect on your feelings. Create everlasting memories that you can revisit simply through music.