Friday, September 12, 2014

Share Music Videos with Others

Photo by Steve. 
Once a week I spend the afternoon with a dozen friends at a local skilled nursing center.

Sometimes we have a lull in an activity we're doing together. 

When this happens, I always offer to sing as a way to fill the time. 

They howl, "No, don't do that."  

This week we were joking about our day being a stereotypical Monday.  One of the residents asked me if I knew the song "Monday. Monday," released in 1966.  

Again, I volunteered to sing. Olivia protested, "Nooooo!"  

Instead of singing, I found the song on my smart phone and started playing the video for her. I was using a mic for our activity, so I put the mic to the speaker on my phone so that everyone in the room could listen along. 

Olivia started singing along (but she wouldn't let me do so).  She was really enjoying the moment.  It made me smile. 

I should think about doing this more often.  It's incredible to me that we can prompt memories by accessing pictures, audio files, video clips and film clips available on our smart phones.  

My single anecdote parallels what researchers have found. A literature review published in 2014 compiles evidence from 65 scholarly articles to show that music can relieve depression and anxiety in older people. 

The number of older adults using digital media is increasing as reported this week in the The New York Times, but there are still some who have very poor access to online media.

The next time you take a trip down memory lane, think of an older adult living in your town who might enjoy taking such a trip to some of their favorite songs, television shows and films from a previous decade.  

Share the wealth of media that you you carry with you on a phone, tablet or laptop.



  1. What a lovely story. Oddly enough, I get a lot of requests to 'not sing' as well...hahahah

  2. I love this Karen! I can really appreciate the point you made because I experience this with my own Mom. She's not 'that' old yet, but given that she's from a different generation, it makes me happy when I see that she benefits from the technology that we're so exposed to and take for granted. I download old songs for her from ITunes and send her some youtube videos sometimes of songs from her youth. It bridges the generation gap and makes us both happy, :-)

  3. What a lovely reminder! I often play music for my 95 year old grandmother, and it always makes her smile!

  4. What a great way to connect with others through music! :) It is observations just like yours (during WWI, WWII, and even before then) that sparked interest in and demand for the profession we know today as Music Therapy. The clinical use of music as a therapeutic intervention has helped so many individuals over the years accomplish a multitude of medical/clinical goals. If you are not familiar with music therapy, I encourage you to visit the American Music Therapy Association’s website at
    We can all share the music that we love to help brighten someone’s day but, through music therapy, we can accomplish so much more! If you have a loved one in a senior care community please share this with the Director of Nursing and the Administrator/Executive Director. Then encourage and support them in contracting with or hiring a Board Certified Music Therapist to help improve the quality of life for all of the residents they serve.