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25th Jul 2022
The Power of Music Therapy for Memory

How does Music Therapy help Memory Disorder Patients?

In our everyday lives, music is omnipresent. We listen to our favourite tunes when we’re anxious or want to unwind. Dopamine, which induces sensations of bliss, is also produced by the brain when listening to songs. It’s also thought that music helps in improving memory.


Can Music Help with Memory?

One type of cognitive or remembering aid is music. The cerebral lobe and hippocampus, related to recall, process a great deal of information each minute. But obtaining data is not simple. Alliteration, rhyming, or rhythm in a song all serve as signals that make it easier to recall specific information. We can remember things because of the song’s design, words, and rhythm.

We need repetitions if we want to remember anything. The brain converts back into electrical pulses that cause chemicals to be released into adjacent brain cells, where the data is sent. The term “synapse” refers to these linkages. Some knowledge escapes human memory because the brain cannot store it. More synapses are formed with repetition, which aids in profoundly developing memories in the brain.

Numerous electrical and chemical reactions are created in the brain by experience or knowledge involving distinct senses. Our initial impression will be greater when more neural stimuli are produced. That event or knowledge will be stored in short-term memory. That’s one of the explanations why it is simpler to recite poetry than to remember music lyrics. Because the mind receives multiple sensory inputs when music plays, hence, it is simpler to remember song lyrics.

If something disrupts these interconnections, the mind may have problems forming and retaining memories. Anything and everything that encourages these associations enhances your memory for that information.


In What Ways does Music Aid with Memory?

The prevailing assumption is that some musical genres make the brain more receptive and equipped to store events or knowledge. A 2015 study compared new sound types that elicit distinct emotions. Subjects who listened to upbeat music, rain, or psychologically stirring music underwent a facial recall test. They also kept an eye on the subjects’ heart rates and hypertension.


The exam was most successful for those listening to moving music. In comparison to other categories, individuals had another faster heart rhythm. By fusing musical elements with facial characteristics, the researchers hypothesised that hearing music might change a human’s visual perception of the face, resulting in more thorough memory formation.


What Impact does Listening to Music Have on Memory?

Alzheimer’s and dementia patients get help from music therapy, thus, Improvisation, composition, performance, and listening to music are all practicable activities. It’s also thought that music therapy can help with long-term memory. When a patient can still express their particular musical preferences and is in the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, this type of memory care works very well.


Music Therapy’s Advantages

Because music stimulates the brain, it may be used as a natural treatment, and it provides more than just music and engages a lot of the body’s faculties. It has an impact on memory, communication, mobility, and emotion. The key brain areas linked to musical memory are relatively undamaged by the Alzheimer’s condition. This makes using music with individuals who have Alzheimer’s a novel therapeutic approach.


  • Mood

The impact of music on our moods is enormous. It can direct the brain to feel content or at ease. By instructing the brain to generate specific chemicals, it achieves this. This improves emotional stability and may lessen anxiety and despair. Certain behaviours are brought about by music, which enhances mood. It could also serve as a type of diversion. Music has the power to distract someone from suffering, whether it is physical or mental.

  • Movement

Since music causes the body to react physically, it promotes movement. Patients participate in the song by moving their hands, faces, and bodies. They could whistle, chant, applaud, or tap their toes in time to the music. Others could even stand up and move or dance along with the music. As a result, listening to music is highly effective for enhancing motor skills.

  • Communication

Any language may enjoy music since it is an expressive method that is understood by all. It provides a means for people to express their emotions without talking. Music has an impact on how people connect and how social skills are developed. This can promote conversation and assist patients in re-establishing relationships with their family members.

  • Memory

The problem of short attention span is often one of the initial signs of Alzheimer’s. However, many individuals with memory loss may still recall music from long ago. This is so that music may still access the parts of the brain that store memory. The patients who get this kind of treatment can link music and memories, and it accomplishes this by recalling particular emotions associated with recollections. Additionally, it can aid in fostering memories of close relationships.

  • Therapeutics for Patients with Memory Disorders

For someone with memory loss, listening to music may be helpful on both a cerebral and physical level. To begin with, include it in their regular activities. You may listen to music while working out, taking a bath, relaxing, and eating. Here are a few tips to consider when using music therapy to better a patient’s wellbeing.


a) Keep an eye out for both verbal & nonverbal communication.

Be careful to keep an eye out for the response while you play music. This involves alterations in nonverbal cues or facial emotions. While a client is hearing the particular music, observe if they seem relaxed or tense. Avoid overstimulating them as well. While music plays, you should try to minimise other sounds or interruptions. Note the songs that make the client react best, and play those regularly. This may facilitate the reestablishment of an emotional bond.


b) Choose the Proper Music Style

Various songs may be effective in getting a patient through particular parts of the day. You could wish to rouse the client with a cheery morning tune. Listen to music with mellow lyrics and soothing instrumentals at night. They will feel more comfortable, which helps promote sleep. The body can produce more sleep-inducing chemicals while music is playing. Additionally, music helps lessen tension and calm their emotions. Whether they feel overburdened, music and memory treatment practices are highly beneficial.


c) Promote more musical awareness

Try your best to reintroduce them to the joy of singing. Music can help the early, mid, and late phases of a memory problem can all be supported by music. Sing a song that you both enjoy to your beloved one. Or have someone play the piano for guests inside. You should also urge children to dance or sing along with the music.


Other Benefits of Music

Additionally, music can ease feelings of stress. As per the study, between 70 – 90 per cent of people with memory or Vascular dementia in later stages experience anxiety. The participant’s favourite music can be played to aid with anxiety reduction and enhance mood, cognition, communication, and muscle control. These responses don’t include brain abilities and just minimal to no brain processing. Stress-reduction techniques include listening to light jazz, natural noises, flute, orchestral music, percussion, and Indian nylon strings.

Both people with Alzheimer’s and their relatives can benefit from listening to music. The sufferer gradually loses the capacity to communicate his feelings to his family. They may move more due to music’s motivation, which may lead to touching, embracing, and kissing. These clues could trigger recollections and feelings. Listening to songs can make tasks more joyful for the sufferer, his family members, or the caretaker. They may feel happier if they dance along to their favourite music.

Additionally, music helps improve communication between the sufferer and their loved ones. It might be demanding to provide memory care requirements for someone that has lost his verbal communication skills. By playing music, you may encourage them to recall and express their feelings.

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Music is a symbol of language, movement, vision, and emotion. It can enhance mood, lower stress levels, and improve memory. Moreover, specific genres have a more substantial effect on triggering brain activity. For instance, listening to classical music might help one focus and remember information better. For people with Alzheimer’s, memory care with music is another option. The patient’s current surroundings are less confusing since they trigger distant memories.



What materials make up memories?

The brain is permanently active. Different neuronal (nerve cell) groupings that control various thoughts or perceptions come into and go out of function. Reactivating a particular set of neurons, which results from consistent changes in the strength of connections between neurons, is known as memory.


Why are memories important?

A variety of technologies are constantly vying for people’s attention. That could result in sloth and careless decision-making. Recalling memories of earlier experiences may keep a mind disciplined and focused.


What makeup memory factors?

  • The level of focus, alertness, awareness, and attention.
  • Interest, drive, urgency, or need.
  • The content that has to be memorised is associated with an emotional state and an emotional value.


How does memory work in the brain?

The majority believe the hippocampus and other similar structures in the temporal lobe of existing research to be responsible for memory-related processes.


What is memory capacity?

The quantity of data a device can hold in memory at any given time is known as memory capacity.


How much memory is there in a human brain?

Your storage capacity could be limited to a few megabytes, about equal to that of an iPod or a USB flash drive. However, neurons work together such that each one contributes to several memories at once, exponentially boosting the brain’s capacity for memory storage to closer to about 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes).


How uncommon are eidetic memories?

The odd but actual perceptual phenomenon known as eidetic memory, which affects between 2 – 15% of children and very infrequently adults, is sometimes mistaken for a photographic memory. A vivid afterimage that persists in the mind’s eye for up to a few minutes before dissipating is known as an eidetic image.


What distinguishes eidetic memory from photographic memory?

Photographic memory is the capacity to recall a picture with great precision over a considerably more extended period than eidetic memory, which can only do so briefly. This is the main distinction between photographic memory and eidetic memory.