Music to spark a better life for older adults and preschoolers

Posts tagged ‘research’

I want to improve!

Online and offline conversations

Image by education.au via Flickr

It is my desire to better serve my readers. As such, I have hired a web consultant. She has requested I enlisted a few of my followers to participate in a ten to fifteen minute phone conversation for the purpose of:

  • learning bout your Internet habits,
  • where you spend your time on-line,
  • what kind of websites interest you,
  • why you go on-line,
  • what type of research you do on-line,
  • how you heard about me/Music Sparks,
  • what topics you would like to see addressed on the blog.

As a reader of this blog, I thought you could bring that perspective to her research. If you would be willing to participate, please complete this form before Friday, July 29th.  Your information will not be shared with others and will be dumped after we have completed our fact-finding process.Thank you in advance for your assistance.

I’d be happy to answer a few questions

Hummm for your Health

Hum & Strum Along with Chet Atkins

Image via Wikipedia

I love learning things. I have learned lots of crazy things. I have learned many things that fascinate me. So it is with humming. While I was interviewed by Janis Harris, MT-BC she shared research on health benefits of humming. There is an amazing amount of research. (Check Google Scholar and see for yourself.) Research seems to indicate sustained, low-pitched humming several times a day increases the nitric oxide produced in the sinuses which seems to decrease frequency and severity of sinus infections in adults.

Maybe the Disney lyrics could be changed to:

Oh, hum while you work. Hmmmm. Oh, hum while you worked. Hmmmm. And if you do it faithfully your sinus won’t hurt.”

Maybe Chet Akins was onto something when we created “Hummm and Strum Along.” Humming can be done:

  • While completing a simple task. Hum while you wash the dishes, load the washing machine, water the plants. Get the idea?
  • While in your car.  Hum along to a songs on the radio. It will be less stressful on your vocal folds than singing can be.
  • As part of meditating. Maybe the yogis weren’t crazy using Om (or Aum).

Take a moment and share a place you can hum in the comments below. And hum while you do it.

Make a Musical Family History

3 Generations, 1 MacBook

Image by lyzadanger via Flickr

The other day, I found a great post titled: Maturity Matters – Relationships – Celebrate Your Family History: 10 Activities.  I strongly encourage you to look at this link and explore the activities.  Using the author’s activities list, here are some ways to add a musical twist.

Start a family Journal Include in your list of questions ones related to music stories. These might include:

  • Instruments played
  • Favorite bands
  • Memories of concerts attended or performed
  • Where and how you listened to music (live, radio, TV)

Generation Preservation Just like old photos, old recordings are fragile and cannot be replaced once lost or damaged. Consider having them saved in a digital format. Look for reel to reel and cassette recordings.  And, don’t forget home sound movies along with videos.  Musical performances are held in a variety of formats.

Their Turn While recording those stories in audio, see if you can get a song sung or an instrumental performance.  There is nothing like hearing a person’s interpretation of a song! I am blessed to have video of one of my grandma’s singing.  What a gift to share with my child!

Generation Transformations When discussing what life was like for each generation, ask about how and where they heard music.  Past generations often gathered around the piano for shared music times, listened to performances on the radio or on TV.  Famous bands made tours did performers. You never know who they met or say.

We are Family Don’t forget to record any family music traditions.  In my family there is a family hymn sung at many of our baptisms and funerals.  There are songs I was taught by my parents during long car rides.  There were times music was played during meals.  Every family is unique in how they used music.

Leave a Legacy Ask each family member to reflect upon what they would like to be their musical legacy and why. Find out how they envision their contribution to impact on future generations. Maybe they can select a recording that can be purchased/downloaded to add it to the family journal.  If they chose to compose a song, all the better!

Children can gain so much from these histories.  When my daughter was in grade school and reading the American Girl books, she would ask questions about experiences of her grandparents and great grands.  Depending on a child’s abilities, they can also help with the recording. (My daughter loves to use cameras.) While these items were listed for families, they might be appropriate in community groups, hospice, assisted living, long-term care and community service projects.  (Think teens gather histories of seniors with particular interests.) Do you have other ideas ways to leave a family legacy?  Share them under the comments.


Recollection through Sound

 

Old man

Image via Wikipedia

 

Working with older adults has provided me many insights.  I plan on being a “loving life” kind of woman in my 90’s who still tries lots of new activities along with old favorites.  Surrounding myself with family, friends, and music are high on my list.  I look forward to days of laughter and enjoyment – less work but as much joy as now, still learning, still sharing.  I plan on surrounding myself with people who help me make all these connections and activities.  Wonder how many people will be singing WWII music with me along as well as all the folk songs, children’s songs, church hymns and silly favorites with which I now fill my days?

It always seems like such a gift to be allowed to work with the older adults.  Singing songs seems to bring out the stories.  Those of limited words may suddenly burst into song, drum along, or share a smile or tear.  My work as a music therapist has allowed me to peek into the lives of those with whom I work.  It is also something others have reported.  Here is a great article about just that.  Read it and enjoy!  Aging Well Magazine – Music Therapy in Dementia Treatment — Recollection Through Sound.

It isn’t too late

Kat Fulton, MM, MT-BC, NICUMT, has a wonderful blog.  She has been posting myth busters the last few entries.  Her most recent one is the best!  Read it and consider what Kat says: Mythbuster Countdown #1.

Music for all

I firmly believe music is something most people can enjoy and in which participation is beneficial.  A recent article in Nature News shares much the same view.  http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100720/full/news.2010.362.html

What are your thoughts?

Changes in nursing homes

For many years, I was employed at skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities as an Activity Director.  I tried to provide the normal as well as the entertaining.  Here is a neat article about changes that are happening in nursing homes.  This excites me! http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/07/chicago-nursing-home-joins-flexibility-revolution.html

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