(K. Brent Tomer),
IN ONE scene of “Alive Inside” (2014), a documentary film, a member of nursing-home staff offers headphones to a wheelchair-bound man named Henry. He had been unresponsive and hunched over, but as Cab Calloway plays, he sits up, opens his eyes wide and begins singing and moving his arms and hands. The music was triggering memories for Henry; family members say he had always been a huge fan of jazz and blues. A shorter version of the film is available on YouTube, and has been viewed more than 2m times to date.
There has been much research on music’s effect on those with progressive disorders like Parkinson’s, where it can help to regulate gait and involuntary body movements, and Alzheimer’s, where music has been found to stimulate positive interactions and help people recall memories. Verbal memory improves among <a…Continue reading