Have you ever gotten the chance to listen to a famous musician from a few feet away? Residents of Chicago Methodist Senior Services’ Wesley Place recently got to experience one-on-one live performances from world-famous violinist Lindsey Stirling. The former America’s Got Talent and Dancing With the Stars contestant went room to room, performing some of her original songs with two members of her band.
Stirling is a volunteer artist with Musicians on Call, which brings live music to people in senior care communities and hospitals who have difficulty leaving their rooms.
Kelli Bruno, manager of national music programs for Musicians on Call, said the visiting musicians can make a lasting impact on older adults who may not be able to leave their rooms and socialize often.
“They really appreciate having visitors,” Bruno said. “And, music can be so beneficial for people with memory loss. It can really transport them back to a happy place. Music has an amazing way of connecting with people.”
Stirling said she enjoys playing music for seniors because she spent a lot of time in the hospital when her dad was sick, and she hopes to bring joy to people in similar circumstances.
“There’s a lot of power and strength in all of these people, and it’s really cool to be able to feel that when you walk in a room,” Stirling said.
Advantages of Music For Seniors
At Chicago Methodist Senior Services, we make it a priority to provide all kinds of opportunities for older adults to enjoy the benefits of music, from therapeutic music programs to visits from professional musicians.
Besides the joy of listening to a favorite artist or genre of music, the benefits of music for seniors can include:
- Evoking emotions or memories. Playing a favorite song from your childhood or teenage years may recall fond memories of moments you haven’t thought of in a while. It can also help older adults with memory loss recall certain emotions, and can enhance social connections.
- Increased happiness and quality of life. We’ve seen firsthand how listening to live or recorded music can improve mood for people with or without memory loss.
- Improvements in overall well-being. Listening to music can be soothing, and can help relieve stress or confusion for people with memory loss. People who are recovering from a stroke, cardiac event or recent surgery can also benefit from live music during their recovery process.
Bringing The Benefits of Music For Seniors Into Our Care Communities
Beyond visits from Musicians on Call, there are many other ways residents can experience and enjoy the benefits of music at CMSS. Additional music programs like Music & MemorySM teach caregivers the benefits of personalized music, and shows them how to develop individual playlists for older adults with memory loss.
We also have frequent visits from the Songs By Heart Foundation, which connects people with memory loss to the language and joy of music. Residents at Hartwell Place recently enjoyed hearing Songs By Heart members sing tunes like “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Which artist do you think your loved one would be most excited to hear in person? To learn more about our art and music programs or volunteer opportunities, contact us.