Exploring Music Therapy at McKnight Place

McKnight Place resident playing an accordion with a woman playing a guitar.

Singing a New Song

At McKnight Place, we believe in the supportive power of music for both the body and mind. That’s just one reason why we offer a variety of music therapy activities that address social, physical, emotional, and cognitive needs of residents. Music therapy is accessible and enjoyable. Our group and individual sessions provide options for every interest and need.

Music therapy is proven to enhance memory through nostalgic reminiscence, diminish stress or pain, improve communication, aid physical rehabilitation, and promote self-esteem.

McKnight Place’s board-certified music therapist uses music to increase residents’ levels of physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. Studies have shown music to be one of the few stimuli to trigger activity throughout the brain rather than in an isolated area, which can be beneficial to maintaining brain health. Sensory and intellectual stimulation using music can help maintain or improve our residents’ quality of life.

Why Music Therapy?

At McKnight Place, we use a variety of musical techniques based on the strengths and needs of each resident. Our goal is to find a way for residents to interact, whether by creating sounds, singing along, moving to the beat, or listening for enjoyment. Whether it’s by playing an instrument, singing a song, or just listening and tapping your feet – the response matters! Familiar or even new music can awaken memories and evoke emotions in listeners. Music therapy takes advantage of this response by creating a sense of healing and joy.

Music is used for many activities at McKnight Place, from entertainment to exercise. Group therapy allows for socialization while benefiting from the health benefits of the exercise. Music therapy uses clinical and evidence-based interventions to accomplish individualized goals. Many people can benefit from this type of therapy, including older adults, those with Alzheimer’s and other age-related conditions, people with physical disabilities, and those who suffer from acute and chronic pain.

Many of our daily music therapy groups consist of a combination of learning, discussion, and music making with the residents. Some groups explore a specific music history topic where we learn about and listen to music from composers, songwriters, and singers throughout the ages. Residents may also engage in music-structured games to improve memory and cognition. Other groups may consist of active music making with the residents, such as sing-alongs, hymns, or show choir. The full calendar of music events can be found in the monthly activity calendar.

At McKnight Place, residents have the option to participate in weekly, private music therapy sessions with our music therapist, Katie Kottemann.  Private music sessions can take a variety of forms. If your loved one is a musician or has an interest in learning to play music, a private music session can take the form of a music lesson, in which we will use adapted music techniques to help the resident learn preferred music. Ms. Kottemann offers lessons in guitar, handheld instruments, and singing. Private sessions can also be used as a time for your loved one to receive individualized attention in which we sing familiar songs and reminisce.

To learn more about Ms. Kottemann as well as the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of music and music therapy or private lessons, contact McKnight Place Assisted Living at 314-993-3333.

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