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Why Can’t I Just Use YouTube?

This month, we’re addressing a question we sometimes get in regard to our virtual music engagement program: Why can’t I just use YouTube? It’s definitely a valid question given the nature of the platform with which we’re all most likely familiar. Let’s explore how Bridgetown Music Therapy’s virtual music engagement program measures against, and ultimately stands apart from YouTube.

1. Dementia-friendly Life Enrichment
While YouTube is more entertainment focused, our program is more than just entertainment - it’s enriching for participants. Our content is recreational in nature. The goal isn’t necessarily to learn a skill or topic, but to have fun doing music while benefitting from enriching music-based activities at the same time. It was also intentionally created to be dementia-friendly.

2. Quality
Unlike a lot of content on YouTube, our videos are extremely high quality, produced by a professional videographer on professional equipment. This makes a huge difference, especially for older adults who may have difficulty with hearing and vision. We continue to get excellent feedback about our program that our video quality is top notch.

 3. Quantity
Subscription to our Virtual Music Engagement Program gets members unlimited 24/7 access to our robust Member Library containing 300+ videos available on demand. Our video library currently features eight collections with a wide variety of genres and themes. We’re constantly adding new content every month, too. Members also get access to all past Live Music Session Recordings and our Member Toolbox!

 4. Active vs. Passive
There’s a difference between passive and active participation. YouTube videos are more of a passive listening experience. Our videos are more than just entertainment. They’re designed to promote and support active engagement experiences. Our goal is to move the participant from simply watching and listening to doing, singing and moving for themselves.

Here are some ways we do this: 

  • Modeling – the music therapist sings all songs to model singing.
  • Accompanied music – the music therapist plays guitar to accompany singing, which supports melody and provides structure for each song.
  • Encouragement – the music therapist invites individuals to join in singing throughout the session; the music therapist poses questions for engagement and shares info about various aspects of the music as well. The music therapist encourages participants to move their bodies, focus on relaxation, and practice deep breathing.
  • Pacing – the music therapist speaks and sings at a slower pace so participants can successfully engage.
  • On-screen lyrics – song lyrics are included on the screen as subtitles to promote participation.

 5. Music-therapist-created
Before creating this program, I provided in-person music therapy services for 8 years. As a licensed and board-certified music therapist, I use my skills, knowledge, and experience to plan all our video sessions. I use that experience to inform how we create our videos – everything from how I interact with the camera to song choices to cadence and flow to the use of prompting to increase participation. You’re tapping into me as a music therapist through our content.

 6. Ad-Free
Unlike YouTube, our program contains no ads – what a relief! Unless you’re willing to pay for the premium version, with YouTube you’ll be constantly bombarded by ads, which can be annoying and sometimes even jarring, to say the least. Ads can be confusing and counterproductive in a care setting as well.

 7. Fun, Engaging, and Therapeutic
While not formal music therapy, our program is created by a music therapist who designed the videos to be both engaging and therapeutic. And of course, our goal is for our content to always be fun and enjoyable!

Music is powerful and has so many incredible benefits. It can create connections and spark joy! It’s a natural motivator for the mind and body. At Bridgetown Music Therapy, we are sparking joy and improving older adults’ lives through meaningful music engagement. Our music therapist-created, dementia friendly programs are geared towards a variety of care settings such as individuals living at home, senior living communities and older adult care homes. Learn more here. Music can really make a difference!


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