Listening to The Power of Music

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing two people who have been in the forefront of a dynamic tool that is being used to help Alzheimer’s patients.
Sarah Matas is the resident Services Administrator at a Philadelphia area facility that deals with dementia/Alzheimer’s. She has been involved with the Music and Memory program for several months. We were joined in the discussion by Dan Cohen, the founder of Music and Memory. He produced an award winning documentary, “Alive Inside” which chronicles the use of music in the treatment if patients with Alzheimer’s. This program takes iPods and loads them with the music that a person loves, their own “playlist”. As a person enters a care facility, the staff will sit with the family and discuss what music the new resident loves. They then, via volunteers and sometimes staff, will download a playlist of that music. Sarah mentioned that the impact has been fantastic. The program has helped calm agitation, helped bond people and residents with staff, etc.
Dan mentioned that the Music and Memory program is now in over 3100 facilities world wide. Experts also have noted that the part of the brain that holds on the longest is that part of the brain that holds musical memories. In no way am I an expert in this, however, several people who are have confirmed that music has been shown to be of great benefit in working with people dealing with Alzheimer’s. The documentary, “Alive Inside” (Netflix and parts on You Tube) demonstrates that.
I mention this as many, including me, may have on”old” iPod that has been replaced by newer technology. Music and Memory can use them. If you are interested in learning more about this very powerful and successful program go to The interview was on the July 12 edition of Boomer Generation Radio (wwdb 860 am in Phila. live stream, Tuesdays 10-11am EDT) which you can listen to on the program’s pod cast available on this site (, just scroll down to the Boomer Generation pod cast links below.
Music and Memory is a great program that works. I urge you to donate your old iPod to them. It is amazing to see how the power of music can lift someone up and light up their eyes and soul. Thanks
Rabbi Richard F Address

About Rabbi Richard Address 696 Articles
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.

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