The Music of Memory

This Saturday is World Rocks Against Dementia – an extraordinary global endeavour by the UK’s very own Norms McNamara, who is living with dementia, while raising awareness, funds and support for those living and working with dementia. Across the world in numerous different countries and communities, concerts and music will be performed simultaneously, sharing the message that music has such power to transform the lives and experiences of those with dementia.

Image: kmuw.org

Image: kmuw.org

At The Daily Sparkle we have always been huge advocates of the power of music to awaken memories, help people make connections and to stimulate and delight.

You only have to watch some of the incredible videos available online to see how songs from the past can allow a person with dementia who has retreated deep inside themselves to emerge for a time – for some it brings a smile, a recollection of a moment, it can even help those who have struggled with speech for some time find words.

This staggering video shows a man who is usually in a vegetative state brought back into the world, after hearing music from his youth. It is a heart-warming and powerful sight. 

While this video, one of my favourites, tells the story of Gladys, whose dementia has left her non-verbal and unresponsive for years. When a lady who has worked with her for some time starts singing gospel songs to her, the effect is quite extraordinary. 

Image: msretailer.com

Image: msretailer.com

And finally, this video showcases the work of a project called The Power of Music and Dementia, which brought together neurologist Oliver Sacks, an entrepreneurial group which included singer Beatie Wolfe and a research team who performed at a series of care homes across the UK, in order to assess the patients' reactions to music; both during a live performance and in the weeks following. You can find out more about the project and their findings, here. http://www.beatiewolfe.com/pom/

Image: healthofwomen.info

Image: healthofwomen.info

Music is such an important part of dementia care and activities, and we can’t think of a better way to raise awareness and share the sheer joy that music can bring than World Rocks Against Dementia. We wish all those participating and involved in this amazing inaugural event all the best for a fantastic day. You can find out more about WRAD here; and get tickets and a full schedule here