I have witnessed hundreds of times in nursing homes how a seemingly incoherent person can come alive during a performance. Anecdotal and observational evidence of the healing power of music abound. But now science is catching up. (Check this article at CNN about music’s therapeutic value.)
The article states, "Music seems to find re-routed paths and that is why it is such a useful tool in terms of helping people with different kinds of brain damage because it can help to find new pathways in terms of brain functioning." And this study isn’t the only one to affirm music’s healing properties.
Researchers in Finland have demonstrated that listening to music for several hours a day can enhance the rehabilitation of stroke patients.
At Colorado State University, researchers have used musical and rhythmic cues as a tool to improve the movement and balance of Parkinson's disease sufferers.
Not too long ago at a performance, a resident told me he recently had head and neck surgery and was ordered not to participate in activities. He wanted to be at my performance. I was touched and also told him I believed that the music was part of his healing. He agreed.
Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, is a marketing consultant, professional speaker, aging and senior health expert, and the owner of Fast Forward Consulting. Visit his personal blog at www.anthonyssong.blogspot.com.