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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...

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Music Makes a Difference During the Holiday Season

Can you imagine the holidays without music? I think it would feel like a giant missing puzzle piece! I will admit, sometimes hearing the same songs over and over throughout the holiday season can get annoying, and by the time January 1 rolls around, I’m ready to take a nice long 47-week break from holiday music. But truly, stop and ponder for a moment, what would the holidays be like without the sounds of the season?

A beautiful transformation takes place during the holiday season. Twinkling lights and other decorations pop up everywhere, festive smells fill the air, and the spirit of togetherness warms our hearts. Amidst this magical ambiance, music emerges as a powerful force that contributes to the special feel of the holidays. I think it’s safe to say, music plays a big role this time of year. Let’s explore several reasons why.

Setting the Atmosphere
There’s no denying the transformative power of music in setting the holiday atmosphere. From the...

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How Does Music Benefit People Living with Dementia?

Did you know that music activates every area of the brain?
It's true, scientific researchers have observed that listening to music and engagement in music-based activities affects all areas of the brain. Music activates the feel-good centers of the brain, and it can even help seniors create new neural connections in their brains, which are reasons why music can be so beneficial for people with dementia.

Music is a natural motivator.
Because music can do all kinds of cool things for the brain and body, it makes the perfect tool for engaging individuals with dementia. A few examples: unlocking their past memories, improving mood, increasing energy levels, and promoting relaxation. Singing has amazing benefits such as relieving stress, boosting the immune system, providing comfort, promoting expressive communication and improving lung capacity.

The benefits of music are abundant and far-reaching.
Music can uniquely touch the lives of people living with disease,...

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Musical Instrument Tips and Recommendations for Seniors

Do you, your loved one or care community own any instruments? 

Instrument play is fun and can provide opportunities for playfulness and self-expression as well as physical movement. Playing small percussion instruments for example can target various physical and cognitive goals by addressing fine and gross motor movement, crossing midline, eye-hand coordination, rhythmic entrainment, visual tracking, body and spatial awareness, and visual or auditory cues.

Small percussion instruments like maracas are generally easy to pick up and play without any previous knowledge or experience. Don’t worry about sounding good or playing correctly. You don’t necessarily need to know how to play. Start by exploring the instrument and see what sounds you can make.

If you'd like to get some instruments for your care home or particular setting, I recommend West Music - they have a huge selection of quality instruments at reasonable prices. Some of our...

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What Are the Benefits of Singing for Older Adults?

Did you know the activity of singing has a ton of benefits? In many ways, singing is similar to exercise. It’s an aerobic activity, so it gets more oxygen into the blood resulting in better circulation which can lead to improved mood. Singing causes the release of endorphins, which give us that wonderful “lifted” feeling often resulting in stress relief. Also, because singing requires deep breathing, a natural outcome is often reduced anxiety.

Here are 10 amazing benefits of singing:

  1. Uplifts mood
  2. Relieves stress
  3. Reduces anxiety
  4. Lowers blood pressure
  5. Boosts the immune system
  6. Improves breathing (by increasing lung capacity)
  7. Promotes communal bonding
  8. Provides comfort
  9. Broadens expressive communication
  10. Strengthens concentration and memory

I LOVE to sing, and I love to help get the older adults you care for singing too. That’s why 80% of our music program for seniors is focused on singing!

Music is good for the mind, body and soul! At Bridgetown Music Therapy, we...

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Why Is Music Engagement Important and Beneficial for Older Adults?

Music engagement for older adults is important because it can help improve overall quality of life, especially for people living with dementia, disease, disability, a lack of social connection, and other concerns. Music-based activities, such as singing, movement to music and instrument play can benefit and enrich participants' lives in many ways such as:

  • Enhancing memory and recall
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing physical movement and circulation
  • Decreasing agitation and combativeness
  • Increasing self-expression

Active and engaging music experiences can boost health by enhancing a person’s cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being. Participation in music activities has many benefits, often producing amazing outcomes, which can include:

  • Improving verbal communication
  • Promoting rest and relaxation
  • Increasing social interaction
  • Stimulating the brain
  • Helping staff, caregivers and family members connect with their...
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Interview with All Home Care Matters Podcast and YouTube Show

In August, we had the pleasure of being a guest on the All Home Care Matters podcast and YouTube channel. All Home Care Matters features resources, tips, and discussion on important age-related topics to help families navigate long-term care matters. Their YouTube channel has an extensive collection of videos which provides all kinds of information to family caregivers and answers to commonly-asked questions.  In my interview with them, I shared about the power of music and how music therapy can be utilized in senior care. If you’d like to watch it, click here.

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7 Ways to Use Music at Home with Your Aging Loved One

If you and your loved one enjoy music, but you’re unsure how to utilize it as a meaningful activity at home, we've got some ideas for you! Music is a wonderful tool for connection and engagement. Think of it like a vitamin—a little bit everyday does wonders to nourish the heart, body, mind and soul. Music can be a daily activity for you and your loved one.

1. Sing – Even if you don’t consider yourself as a “singer,” we each have a voice and can use it to sing. Did you know the activity of singing has a ton of benefits? In many ways, singing is similar to exercise. It’s an aerobic activity, so it gets more oxygen into the blood leading to better circulation which can cause improved mood. Singing causes the release of endorphins, which give us that wonderful “lifted” feeling often resulting in stress relief. Also, because singing requires deep breathing, a natural result is often reduced anxiety.

It's as simple as turning on a song...

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