Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Music Is My Happy Place

For #GivingTuesday today I donated to MusicandMemory.org.  Music is my happy place through challenging times, and I hope my small donation will help someone else experience their happy place again.

In early 2013, I watched the movie, “The Music Never Stopped,” with fascination about a man with a brain tumor that affects his memory. Through listening to the music of his youth, he’s able to remember and connect with his family. Beyond the story and fabulous characters, it's also a toe tapping flick with tons of Greatful Dead songs.  After savoring the movie I scrutinized the credits to learn the movie was based on Oliver Sacks’ story, "The Last Hippie."  Searching for other books by Oliver Sacks, I found and read Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. This book is thought-provoking for the anecdotes and studies showing just how powerful, quirky, and surprising our brains and abilities can be with our relationship to music.
This past weekend I streamed Alive Inside on Netflix and was moved to tears again by the power of music on people’s lives. The documentary focuses on how the simple gift of an iPod with a playlist of music that’s meaningful to a person with dementia can transform their quality of life and allow them to connect with people around them.

In the United States we have 5 million people living with dementia and 10 million people caring for them. MusicandMemory.org is an organization that helps bring music to people living with dementia in nursing homes. May we all enjoy our own personal musical playlist for the full extent of our time on earth.

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