Meet Henry. In his younger days he was a vibrant, fun-loving man who was always full of energy. As Henry grew older and his health began to deteriorate, however, he became more and more depressed and withdrawn. It got to the point where Henry was almost completely unresponsive.
Enter Dan Cohen. Dan is a social worker who came up with the genius idea of giving iPods to seniors, customized with music from their era. This video (an excerpt from the documentary Alive Inside), shows Henry’s reaction to his favorite music. Enjoy!
What impressed me the most was how the effects of the music remained after the headphones were removed. I think we should be seriously looking into including music as part of mental health treatments.
Our brains are wired to find patterns, but as we get older, this skill becomes less and less necessary, contributing to mental deterioration.
Is it possible that the patterned structure of music played just as much of a role in Henry’s transformation as the joy he got listening to music from his era? I think the chances are pretty good, but either way, there is no denying that music has a powerful effect on our minds.
To find out more about the documentary Alive Inside, visit their homepage here.