The Notes of the Past

'Music Therapy for Memory' By: Brooke Hubele and Tori Horka

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Why we chose this topic...

We both chose 'Music Therapy for Memory' as our first choice because we both listen to music everyday. Music helps us concentrate better but also helps us to remember things. For example, when either of us are studying for a certain subject for school, we listen to music because the music helps retain our memory for what we are studying for. Another example would be that we are both apart of the Marcus Marquettes, a varsity drill team for our school. If we are trying to remember what count goes with what dance move, we would listen to the music over and over again to try and figure out what it is. Sooner or later, our memory would finally click, realizing that the music helps us remember what the counts are.

How this topic might be helpful to others...

'Music Therapy for Memory' might be helpful to those who actually need therapy to improve their memory. In some cases, listening to music helps most people remember certain tasks they are needed to do that day. Not only does music help "retune" the brain to improve themselves, but music is known to help calm people, reduce all stress, and help rise peoples focus to continue their motivation throughout the day.

Music Therapy for Memory

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Music therapy is a mental helping exercise that helps bring back long term memories in the use of music. This therapeutic program is expressed to show feelings, calmness, and memory, improve communication, and reduce pain.

The Brain...

When the music first starts, before the words even start, the auditory cortex is analyzing the tone, such as the rhythm and pitch. The motor cortex is involved in the movement, such as foot tapping and dancing, when one listens to music. The Prefrontal cortex is connected to the satisfaction expectations, while the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala are both connected to your emotional reactions to the music. Another major part of the brain that is being used is the hippocampus, which is usually damaged first in diseases such as Alzheimer's. Its in charge of your memory of the musical experience and the context in which it happened.

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The Research and Psychologist...

Neurobiologist Gordon Shaw is an important scientist in the study called Mozart Effect, in which he showed the impact of music on the brain and with math skills by giving 3 groups of college students the same IQ test. One of the groups listened to a piece by Mozart for 10 minutes, another listened to a relaxing tape, and the third group did not listen to anything but silence. The students who listened to Mozart got about 10 points higher on their IQ test than the others who listened to either a relaxing tape or nothing. Another important researcher in this subject is Dr. Oliver Sacks. He wrote a book called Musicophilia, in which he interviewed people with different neurological conditions and examined how music had an affect on their life and condition.

Interesting Stuff...

Founder of Music and Memory, a non-profit organization, Dan Cohen has made his organization geared toward helping elderly with neurological conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer's, with music therapy. In one specific case, one patient named Henry was “awakened” by putting on the headphones of an ipod with music from his era. Even after the headphones were taken off, he was more talkative and louder than he had been before he was introduced to the music.