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Making Music at McKnight Place

Making Music, Making Memories

It might not be breaking news that music makes people happy, but the amount of older adults who attribute music to helping them through difficult situations is growing every year and that’s worth exploring.

A recent study from market research firm YouGov has found that more than 70 percent of Americans age 45 and older claim that music has helped them through a difficult time in their lives. These findings were part of a broader survey on the question that found little disparity between age groups. Among all demographic groups, 71 percent said they agreed that music had helped them through a difficult time in their lives.

These figures began to shift upward among older groups, as 67 percent of subjects ages 18 to 24 said music has helped them at a difficult time in their lives, compared with 72 percent of individuals age 55 and older.

Music Therapy at McKnight Place

At McKnight Place, we whole-heartedly believe in the supportive power of music on both the body and mind. In fact, we have entire music therapy activities rooted in the healing power of music, not to mention our regular musical guest performances for residents to enjoy. Our music therapy classes and activities address social, physical, emotional, and cognitive needs of residents. In addition, this form of therapy is accessible and enjoyable. Our group and individual sessions provide options for every interest and need.

This enjoyable 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 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.

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. In addition, private sessions are available to address specific needs for individual residents. We help residents choose the type of sessions that would be most enjoyable and suitable for their needs. Our therapist also helps residents identify goals and how to work toward accomplishing them.

Learn more about the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of music and music therapy in this AARP article. To learn more about how McKnight Place can help you or a loved one with assisted living or skilled nursing services, or to schedule a tour, contact us at 314-993-3333.

Residents enjoying themselves during musical activities