Empowering Members Through Music
February 22, 2022

Every memory has a soundtrack of its own. From wedding songs to old lullabies, the style of music might change, but the memories remain. At Oakwood Creative Care, we believe in the unmatched potential of our music teachers and the programs they create. We have seen music empower those with dementia, or those who have lost their ability to speak, by suddenly recalling a favorite song and tapping or humming along to its tune.

Regardless of its style or age, music finds a direct channel into the heart and soul. Generational favorites, specifically those from a loved one’s formative years, can open a back door to memories by reigniting them through the sounds and emotions felt in the present.

Studies have found that listening to and performing music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, speech, and emotion; therefore, music not only helps to retrieve stored memories but also plays an important role in establishing new ones. More interstingly so, further studies have proven that listening to music everyday can facilitate the recovery of cognitive functions and mood after a stroke with the recovery of verbal memory, focused attention, and mental health.
Researchers have found lyrics can be especially helpful to people who are recovering from a stroke or brain injury that has damaged the left-brain region responsible for speech. Because singing ability originates in the undamaged right side of the brain, people can learn to speak their thoughts by singing them first and gradually dropping the melody.
This is why we take special interest in learning more about the beautiful lives lived by each of our members. Our music teachers perform and create fine-tuned sessions based around the personhood of each member in hopes of guiding them through rediscovering old memories while also making new ones along the way.

Finding Joy Through Music in Oakwood’s Day Clubs

Oakwood’s music teachers are engagement specialists with a special knack for creating musical therapy experiences that entice everyone to join. They are leaders of drum circles, jam sessions, and music history classes, where our members take on the starring role each and every time. With music therapy, we find we can take advantage of the opportunity to transport back to a moment in time and relive moments of pure happiness, joy, and love.
Learn how you can incorporate musical experiences and more for your loved one at home, with our “Engaging at Home” program. This program utilizes the same curriculum models used in our clubs.

Fabiny, A. (2015). Music can boost memory and mood. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/music-can-boost-memory-and-mood 

Jäncke L. (2008). Music, memory and emotion. Journal of biology, 7(6), 21. https://doi.org/10.1186/jbiol82 

Oakwood Dementia Care Day Clubs for Music


We're a nonprofit organization based in Mesa, Arizona with three senior day club locations (and a fourth on the way) which serve older adults with Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and various other physical or cognitive challenges. Life does not end with a diagnosis. Our members continue to learn new skills, enjoy new discoveries, make friends, laugh, and live a joy-filled life. Our team of dementia experts lead support groups, events, classes, and private sessions with caregivers and families, guiding them on the best methods to care for their loved ones while also caring for themselves.

Recent Posts

OCC YouTube

Follow Us