Music Therapy with Older Adults
& Memory Care

Heart Tones Music Therapy provides both individual and group music therapy to older adults in senior living facilities, adult day health centers, rehab facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and memory care units.


How does music therapy help older adults?

  • Increases emotional expression
  • Promotes communication 
  • Provides opportunities for socialization with peers, caregivers, and family
  • Promotes body movement
  • Promotes reminiscence and memory recall
  • Provides comfort and familiarity during transition times
  • Decreases sense of isolation
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Decreases depression 
  • Provides nonpharmacological management of pain and discomfort
  • Provides structure to activities of daily living
  • Provides opportunity for emotional intimacy with spouse and family
All the clients love Beth, even the ones who generally do not participate in activities are tapping their feet and singing along. Beth is always smiling and engaging, and makes you feel like she is playing just for you.
— Adult Day Health Care Program Director

What makes music therapy unique?

  • Music therapy is provided by a credentialed professional who has specialized training in working with older adults and adults with memory loss. 
  • Music therapists engage clients in interventions such as instrument improvisation, songwriting, musical parody, movement to music, and reminiscence through music, rather than just providing a sing-a-long. 
  • Music therapists can help educate CNAs and other clinical staff on how to use music throughout the day to decrease agitation and provide structure for clients. 
Our residents really enjoy having Beth here. With memory care, it can be a challenge to connect with the residents; music with Beth makes it easier. Residents who struggle to communicate can still sing along to their favorite songs. And with Beth they don’t just get to sing along - they get to play their rhythm sticks or shake their maracas right along with her, which they really enjoy!
— Nurse manager of a memory care unit

Music Therapy and the Music & Memory Program

The Music & Memory program was started in 2010 by Dan Cohen to bring preferred music to seniors living in skilled nursing facilities. The program became well known through the film "Alive Inside" and the viral video of Henry "coming alive" while listening to music on an iPod. 

From the beginning, music therapists have been involved in implementing the Music & Memory program all over the country as a supplement to an existing music therapy program. 

The Creator of Music & Memory recommends that all facilities that take the Music & Memory training have a board-certified music therapist involved in their program.

Beth Hardy has gone through the 3-day Music & Memory webinar training and has helped to implement the program within memory care facilities. She is available to help your facility get started with the Music & Memory program and make it a success for your residents!