An elderly veteran who suffers from memory loss recently remembered songs from his army days.
A woman who barely leaves her room got so caught up in a group sing-a-long that not only did she join in, but repeatedly stood up from her wheel chair.
They may sound like minor feats, but for the residents at Hawthorn Court Senior Living, they are huge milestones!
As Fox 10’s Anita Roman explains, these milestones are all happening because of music!
There's a saying that medicine heals the body and music heals the soul.
Nowhere does that ring more true than at Hawthorn Court.
In fact the songs sang here may actually restore both.
“There are a lot of things about music that we still don't know, but I think the thing that’s the most amazing about music is that its distributed throughout, so our brain, so no matter what kind of issue you have, you will relate to music on some level,” said Music Therapist, Jenny Cook.
Singer and Music Therapist with Songs by Heart, Jenny Cook, says the foundation uses music as a medium for healing and in achieving non-musical goals like making the residents feel better by improving their self-esteem, for example.
“I’ve loved music all my life, said resident Gloria Charney. “I started singing when I was little and I’ve heard it all my life.”
“It makes me feel good.”
On April 30th, Senior Resource Group became the first assisted living facility in Arizona to provide live music therapy to the men and women who live in their Scottsdale and Ahwatukee homes.
The group now gathers once a week. And the results are almost unexplainable.
“I’ve had several, numerous experiences where there is someone who is very closed off or they'll be unresponsive. They will not be responding through the entire session, but then there’s the one song that they just come alive with and they start singing along and there might be tears in their eyes. It’s beautiful,” says Singer Melissa Solomon.
“I’ve seen what many people would consider miracles. Just people speaking again who haven’t spoken in months. People getting up and walking who don’t usually walk.”
Whether it's a tune from the 1930's or a number from the 50's, one thing seems certain...like Bono from U2 said, music can change the world because it can change people.
Songs by Heart is based out of Chicago. The foundation runs programs in Illinois, California and Arizona.