We envision a world where every individual of every ability has access to beloved, life-affirming music that enhances engagement in meaningful living.
We train aged care staff, health professionals and family caregivers to create and provide personalised playlists. Delivered on digital devices, these playlists enable those struggling with dementia and other health-related challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.
By providing access and education, and creating a network of MUSIC & MEMORY Certified Organizations, we aim to make this form of personalised therapeutic music a standard of care throughout the world.
How MUSIC & MEMORY Began
Executive Director Dan Cohen founded Music & Memory in the USA with a simple idea: Someday, if he ended up in a nursing home, he wanted to be able to listen to his favorite ‘60s music. He had heard a recent news report about how iPods had grown so popular. Why not bring used iPods as well as new ones into nursing homes to provide personalised music for residents?
When Dan had this vision in 2006, he discovered that none of the 16,000 long-term care facilities in the U.S. used iPods for their residents. Drawing on his background in leveraging technology to benefit those who would otherwise have no access, he volunteered at a local nursing home in greater New York, creating personalised playlists for residents. The programme was a hit with residents, staff and families, and became the prototype for a bigger effort.
With funding from the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in 2008 Dan brought 200 iPods to residents of four New York long-term care facilities and tested the programme on a larger scale in 2008. Successful outcomes led to the creation of the documentary Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory. The film previewed in New York City. A short video clip was posted to Youtube of one of the residents called Henry, who was reawakened by listening to his favorite music. Henry’s video went viral, now with more than 11 million views, and was featured on the BBC Russell Howard Good News show, further boosting awareness and enthusiasm for our programme.
Nine years later, thousands of healthcare settings now provide Music & Memory in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Israel.