Researchers Make Music for Senior Health Care

Music is one of the universal pursuits in every culture. Music moves us in many ways. It's relaxing, stimulating and intellectual. It brings us together in collective spaces like symphony halls and rock palaces. It's secular and liturgical. Recently, music is getting notice for its effect in the health science fields. Music heals.

Next year a centre is being proposed at the University of Toronto to assemble vanguard experts to enable music to improve medical conditions as strokes, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain and Parkinson’s.

Don McLean, dean of U of T’s faculty of music, told the Toronto Star: “I’m pretty excited about this. In the last month, all the pennies have started to drop.” McLean believes music as medicine is crucial as health care costs continue to rise. He also points to an aging population and an increasing need for palliative care.

Researcher Takako Fujioka, who is a scientific associate at the Rotman Research Institute, which is part of Baycrest centre for seniors in Toronto, will play an integral part in the new health and music centre. “You can collect evidence, but still that’s not enough,” she told the media source. “You need to understand why and how. We need an interdisciplinary, collective approach.”

The group has been shortlisted for a $1-million grant endowment from Connaught Global Challenge Fund to investigate the application of rhythm, vibration and low frequency sound to affect brain waves and treat Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke and pain.

Music could become a central treatment in Nursing Care and Alzheimers Care residences.