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Scientists are just on the frontier of learning the powerful impact of music on the brain. Our goal is to learn more about how music therapy helps Alzheimer’s patients.As we all know from hearing that song associated with a first love or leaving home for good, music is profoundly linked to personal memories.
In fact, our brains are hard-wired to connect music with long-term memory.
Even for persons with severe dementia, music can tap deep emotional recall. For individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, memory for things—names, places, facts—is compromised, but memories from our teenage years can be well-preserved.
Favorite music or songs associated with important personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. Beloved music often calms chaotic brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain a connection to others.
The goal of this website is to detail methods for creating musical memories with persons afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia through the use of personal playlists.
Statistics have proven the brain’s path storing MUSICAL memory is somehow minimally affected by the ravages of Alzheimer’s. It is our hope to spread the knowledge, recommend the methods, and facilitate a dialogue so that every affected person can enjoy “the music of their past”!
This project involves identifying music that is important to the resident, creating a “personal playlist”. Ideally, it is used as a real music therapy, reducing the need for anti-psychotic medications and helping calm an agitated resident.
Time is irrelevant so all types of music can be mood elevators. Christmas music particularly seems to bring with it happy memories.
The process is worth the end result.
Our goal at i Remember the Music is to provide information and consultation so that the therapeutic benefits of personalized music will be available to as many Oklahoma elder care residents and clients as possible.
An additional goal is the collection of used ipods, mp3 players, headphones and chargers. Almost everyone has, or knows someone who has, an ‘old’ ipod in a desk drawer somewhere. Technology has improved and most young people have ‘moved on’. We can re-program these devices with playlists from their “past” and go with them to a place of happy memories.
About Leslie Orvis
Leslie Orvis has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UCO (1978).
Leslie taught vocal music at Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond for 30 years, retiring in 2009. While at Sequoyah, she was honored as Site Teacher of the Year (2004).Leslie received the Oklahoma Music Educators’ Association’s (OMEA) “Exemplary Teacher Award” in 2006.
Leslie was on staff at Southwestern University Music Camps, presented workshops for music educators’ conferences and, along with several other veteran music educators, was a co-founder of COCDA Honor Choir.
Leslie was the pianist at First Baptist Church Edmond for 20 years, and currently is a member of Quail Springs Baptist Church.
Leslie and her late husband Bill have two sons – Jason (39) and Luke (37). Both are life-long Edmond residents.
Leslie is asked to conduct festivals statewide, and also keeps busy as a solo/ensemble and choir judge at OSSAA-sanctioned vocal contests.
Leslie currently directs the Edmond Senior Citizens’ Choir in Edmond. Since becoming the director of the “Golden Harmonizers”, she has expanded both the repertoire and performance opportunities. Each month the choir sings in an Edmond public school. There is something magic about this pairing of young and old, and whether it is a kindergarten group, or a high school choir, the magic happens!