“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination and life to everything.” - Plato
Although some complexities of the brain-music relationship remain unclear, it is widely accepted that music has far-reaching effects on emotional and cognitive health. In fact, there is documented evidence that music benefits the brain and body in many ways.
Music can: reduce anxiety – improve sleep – manage blood pressure– lessen pain – increase alertness – improve memory – fell happier – find closure with the past – increase creativity – improve gait – strengthen emotional bonds – improve recall – and more.
Music from the past evokes memories and emotions that enable you to relive events and moments that helped shape who you are today. It is healthy to reminisce through music because it allows you to come to terms with the happy and the sad times of your life in a safe manner.
Listening to music is one of the most complex challenges a brain goes through. When the brain is exposed to new music, it forces itself to undergo a series of complex steps in order to process the new sounds, words, and rhythms.
Most senior-focused music programs rely only on the nostalgic effect of music.
Nostalgia, Notes, & Neurons TM, also capitalizes on the endorphin boost that music naturally provides and the valuable effects that nostalgic songs offer. Then it takes the power of music even further by incorporating new music.
This proprietary approach turns music into a “super tool for brain health” that has widespread positive effects on emotional and cognitive health.
How it works
There are two Song Guides that you may use; or if you choose, you may pick your own music selections following the protocols of the program.
The first Song Guide is a list of Nostalgia Songs. These songs should be at least somewhat familiar to most seniors.
The next Song Guide is the Neurons Songs. These songs should be mainly unfamiliar to most seniors.
If you choose your own selections, you will need both unfamiliar and familiar song choices every day.
All personal choice songs should also be upbeat in messaging, have a “catchy” or soothing rhythm, use appropriate language, and not be offensive. Your selections should include music with and without lyrics.
In other words, it is much easier to use my Song Guides if you can! (see disclaimer in terms and agreements) Great care has been taken to ensure the song choices offer the best opportunity for cognitive and emotional health.
To get the full benefits of Nostalgia, Notes, & Neurons TM, it is imperative that you listen to songs from both lists as instructed and not just the songs that you are familiar with since one of the key elements of this program is to expose seniors to unfamiliar songs so their brain can process new music.
- Your Activity Partner must be able to search the internet to follow the Song Guides.
- To play the songs, go to YouTube.com and search for the song title.
- All the titles in the Song Guides are available on YouTube.
- You do not have to download anything onto your computer.
- You may listen to the songs for free.
- Be sure to play the clean version of each song.
- Remember, the object of this activity is to listen to the music, not to watch the video.
- If you have a smart device available you may ask it to play the song using the command your device requires such as, “Hey Google, play…”.
Let's Get Started
While it is not necessary to sing the songs if you listen to them intently,
singing along is recommended to get the most benefits from doing the activity.
Instructions for Monday – Friday
Listen to or sing a new Nostalgia Song each day following these guidelines:
Listen to and sing along with the Nostalgia Song as many times as you like.
As time allows, discuss the following:
What were you doing in life when this song was popular?
How does hearing this song now make you feel?
Listen to a new Neurons Song each day.
Listen to the song a few times in a row and focus on the lyrics.
Next, listen during the verses and try to sing along during the chorus (the part that repeats).
It does not matter if you sing the lyrics correctly or not.
Add a simple motion that you think relates to the chorus as you are singing it.
Everyone’s motion does not have to be the same – it can be whatever you want it to be.
Repeat the process as many times as time and preference allows.
As time allows, discuss the following:
Do you like the song and why?
Even though the song was unfamiliar, does it make you think of anything in particular?
There may be specific questions in the Song Guides from time to time about certain songs. When this occurs, answer those questions instead.
Instructions for Saturday
Listen to or sing all the Nostalgia Songs from the prior week.
Instructions for Sunday
Listen to or sing all the Neurons Songs from the prior week.
When you have extra time
Listen to or sing Nostalgia and Neurons Songs of their choice.