Underserved Populations and Music
My guest this episode is Hanna Doreen Brown, Founder and Executive Director of Sound Affects, a nonprofit organization whose mission it is meet the needs of underserved populations prone to isolation and who lack access to public music performances. Hanna is also a singer/songwriter and integrative artist from Rochester NY, with roots in classic country and folk music, as well as modern and indie influences. Hanna’s love of music past and present is evident in the work she does performing covers and originals in Northern Colorado senior care facilities and has built her nonprofit program, Sound Affects, around this work. Through her work, Hanna’s goal is to capture the stories of the wise, learn a little about a lot, and break down some stereotypes in the process.
Music and Senior Health
It has been estimated that by the year 2030 — for the first time in history — there will be more Americans over the age of 65 than under the age of 18. Due to increased longevity and rising numbers in the Baby Boomer population, senior care facilities can anticipate a much larger patient load. Healthcare professionals are considering cost-effective and non-pharmaceutical ways to improve quality of life for those within long-term care communities. Numerous studies suggest that music can provide positive outcomes such as reduction of depression, unrest and behavioral problems. Music has also been found to improve health, communication, and socialization in seniors.
Performing for the senior community can have a significant impact on the lives of people coping with loss, loneliness and various chronic health issues. In some cases, music can make the difference between unmindfulness and mindfulness. I remember performing at senior centers when I lived in New York City and witnessing invigorated and engaged audiences who really appreciated experiencing live music in what was essentially their home.
Musicians have a wonderful opportunity to touch lives in a very direct way by performing for senior audiences.
My thanks to Hanna Doreen Brown, singer/songwriter and Executive Director of Sound Affects. You can learn more about Sound Affects by visiting soundaffectsmusic.org. To learn more about Hanna and her music, visit hannadoreen.com. And make sure to keep an ear out for the upcoming Long Time Listener podcast. I’m definitely looking forward to that!
How Can Music Benefit Seniors in Assisted Living?
Performing for Seniors: The Essential Guide for Musicians and Entertainers
Positive Physical and Mental Outcomes for Residents in Nursing Facilities Using Music: A Systematic Review
Implementation of Personalized Music Listening for Assisted Living Residents with Dementia
Evaluating the Impact of Music & Memory’s Personalized Music and Tablet Engagement Program in Wisconsin Assisted Living Communities: Pilot Study
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