Don’t Stop the Music!

Hello world!

Even if we can’t see you in person, please don’t stop the music! 

Did you know? “Listening to the music you love will make your brain release more dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter for humans’ emotional and cognitive functioning.” (more here)

We have curated a list of ways that you can continue to have music in your life, and we have even included open-window singing grams.

I. TELETHERAPY & LESSONS

We now have an online platform which allows us to connect through video and audio with our clients! You do not need an account – we just send you the link to connect via email! We know that most facilities cannot have residents and clients together in the group rooms, which means everyone under your roof needs social connection now more than ever! Here is what is needed for individual teletherapy or telelesson sessions:

  • Broadband internet (15MB/second download speed and 5MB/second upload)
  • A smart device with a built-in camera and microphone (phone/tablet/laptop)
  • A family member or staff member to help support the logistics of the session (holding the device, adjusting volume, screen placement, and physical support to ensure safety)
  • Facilities: the ability to clean each device before moving from room to room (hospital steriwipes are great!)
  • We are now accepting NEW telelesson clients! If you are ready to give it a go, complete our online survey to make sure you are all squared away!

II. RECORDED MUSIC

Facilities:

  • Take a survey with your residents and find out what their favorite music is — genre, artist, decade, etc (these conversations alone will be so valuable to them!)
  • Provide this music for residents through CD players, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.
  • Be sure to build in breaks while providing access to this music – sometimes too much stimulation can cause agitation
  • Here at MMT we call it the “45/15 rule” – 45 minutes of music listening, then at least a 15 minute break — music is only powerful when there are also times of silence
  • Check in on your residents often and watch for signs of agitation, over-stimulation, or strong emotional reactions. If any of these are present, ask the resident if they would like to take a break, and possibly change genres of music.
  • How do we feel about headphones and iPod programs? They are great for some purposes, just be cautious on when to use them! If your residents are already feeling isolated, they may want to listen out in the open of their room and have a staff member listen with them, as opposed to having headphones on and feeling even more isolated. Ask them their preference!

Families: Parents, now is your chance! You have total control over all of the ears in your house! 😉

  • Play your favorite music for them, play their grandparents’ favorite music for them
  • Ask them what their favorite songs are
  • Write songs together (this doesn’t have to be hard: think mad libs to a familiar song/tune!)
  • Have your kids call their friends and ask them to name their favorite songs, and then help your kids create a playlist on Amazon Music, Spotify, etc.
  • Show them how to share this playlist so their friends can listen
  • Turn pencils, pots and pans into drums and make a band
  • Have your kids call your parents and interview them about their favorite music, who they saw in concert when they were younger, and what songs became the most important to them throughout their years
  • Make a family anthology with everyone’s favorite titles and artists. The possibilities are endless, and the memories you make will be priceless. Your kids will always remember this time, and of dancing in the kitchen to their parents’ and grandparents’ favorite music – even if they “don’t like it now.” 😉

III. ALEXA!

  • Get smart! (speakers and TVs)
  • Families, sing-a-long videos and movies are fun! (Hint: they don’t have to be new movies … the movies from your childhood are great!)
  • If in a facility and your residents have access to smart TVs, you can access music apps on the tvs, and some apps or playlists even have visuals to go with the audio for added visual stimulation.
  • If you can, get smart speakers for your resident’s rooms, teach them how to ask Alexa to play their favorite hits!
  • If you need pricing and details for administrative purchase approval, these Amazon Echo Dots are small and pretty well-priced (make sure your facility has good wifi before purchasing!)
  • Set up a charging station in the activity therapy office so that all equipment is stored and charged safely; wipe each speaker down in between use

IV. OLD-FASHIONED SERENADE

  • Facilities: We know we can’t come in to your facility … but if the windows can open in your facility, or if your residents have patios that open to a common outdoor green, and you are in our service area, we will come to you from outside! An open-window singing-gram!
  • Reach out to us to find out more about scheduling a time for us to come make our rounds at your facility or home!

V. HOMESCHOOL BLUES?

Families, while your children are completing their homeschool or digital learning day assignments, play some music in the house to help ease some tension (for everyone)!

  • Play instrumental music with no lyrics (when our brains hear lyrics, they want to sing along which may be distracting while completing school work!)
  • Less can be more! Save the orchestral symphonies for another time in the day – for studying, go for simplistic (piano, guitar or strings, spa music, etc)
  • Place the speaker in a room that allows everyone to hear, but is not too loud or too close to a child studying — you’re going for background ambiance, not front-row rock concert
  • Play something that you will all like – no sense in making yourself tense while trying to help your kids relax 😉
  • Mix it up! Our brains like novelty and respond well to it; if the music becomes too predictable, our brains will begin picking up on patterns and anticipating what is coming next (a great exercise, but again, could be distracting!)

Let us know how we can continue to support you. We’re all in this together!

Your partner in good health,