Impact statement: Roanoke Symphony’s music therapy program for Alzheimer’s and memory-care patients

Posted on: August 4, 2017

“A new music therapy program in the Star City has the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra teaming up with Friendship Health and Rehab to play music for memory care and Alzheimer’s patients each week,” reports Erin Brookshier on Wednesday (8/2) at Roanoke television station WSLS. “The healing arts program has a specialized schedule of songs and interactions to get the patients involved. There’s a question and answer session and the patients use their own drum sticks or egg shakers to play along with the music…. Noel Anderson, a music therapist, says, … ‘Even when people are in the late stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s, music can still reach them.’ … It’s a program that was more than a year in the works….  Now, these musical visits are something many of these memory care patients look forward to each week…. Staff members at friendship say they’ve seen big changes the music has had for several of the patients, including a change in demeanor during the week from nervous or unsure patients to seeing a calmer attitude.” Says RSO Executive Director David Crane, “It’s exciting and a new experience for us to be able to say, ‘Let’s impact someone’s life on a daily wellness level.’ ”

Posted August 4, 2017

Pictured: Musicians from the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra at Friendship Health and Living Community, with (at left) speech-language pathologist Corey Meador in blue shirt and khaki pants