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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Somewhere Over The Rainbow[i]

         I recently came across the research article listed below and my heart started beating faster. The goal of the authors is to explore the significance of music to us older folks.  We are told in the first paragraph that while younger person’s attachment to music is well known, that of seniors is less understood.
         Some research articles even suggest that we seniors become less attached to music as we age.  So the researchers, who are here in Canada, began their journey by gathering info from the Canadian Study on Health and Aging.  First the researchers developed a questionnaire that asks about the importance of music in the person's lives.  Wow, this partly explains why I love Glee, American Idol, and The Voice.   Oh yes and I also love So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars.
         Recently, upstairs in my art painting “office.”, I recently plugged in a portable radio and I plan to turn it on whenever I go up to paint.
         I also like to hum and sing and play with a harmonica. I also have a dulcimer, which I don’t play with very often.
 Now here is an interesting quotation “ Moreover, because music listening entails complex cognitive processes in structuring and retaining information, it is reasonable to ask if the  judged importance of music depends on general cognitive status.”
         So the began their research. There were  320 subjects with a mean of 78.3 years.  The subjects were asked five questions:
1.     How frequently do you listen?
2.     Do you participate in choirs?
3.     Do you play a musical instrument”
4.     Name a favorite song and it’s popularity/
5.     How important do you think music is?
Next,   “  ---It can be inferred that music can contribute can contribute to the quality of life regardless of mental capacity.”
    Finally, there are three important things to consider:
A)     First: government should make music a priority in connection to seniors
B)     The issue is challenging for example the government should ensure access and proper use of hearing aids (I have hearing aids for both ears and quite often forget to put them on when I walk out the door
C)     “Finally:  there is a role for education  in the fields of gerontology, developmental psychology, music education, music therapy, and music psychology to emphasize  the importance of music.”   PS I seldom get feedbacks from my blog posts but I would love to read what you think.

[i]  A, Cohen,  B. Bailly & T, Nilsson (2002). The Importance of Music to Seniors, Psychomusicolgy,  ,18, 89-102.

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