Music on Wheels

Encouraging minds – bringing music to senior retirement homes

“That high quality of live performance gets to your heart and a way that no recording does. Hearing an acoustic instrument — a violin and a piano and a flute — it reaches the person in a very important way.” – Rafael Diaz, program chair

Our newest education program hires professional musicians to perform at local assisted living homes presenting an hour-long concert. As many residents are unable to get out and attend live performances, ICS feels it is important to take the music to them.

The program was inspired, in part, by increasing scientific evidence demonstrating how music, especially classical music, keeps older people’s spirits up and minds sharp. It can also reduce heart rates, blood pressure, and anxiety. Studies have demonstrated that music enhances the memory of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients –as well as having a positive effect on mental health, physical health, and social functioning in older adults. It also feels like the right thing to do!

Ginny Hummel (photo by Craig Silbeman)

The comments from our first few concerts were exceptional and the audience was greatly appreciative:

“Best music I’ve ever heard – I’ve never heard music like that in my life.” – Ed (resident), Hilltop Commons

“A very special performance — different than most of our entertainment – I particularly liked classics for a change!” – resident, Hilltop Commons

“It was excellent — I hope you saw the faces of the residents!”  – caretaker, Atria Senior Living

“What a pleasant treat for my afternoon. It changed my demeanor. Crisp! Enchanting!” – resident, Atria Senior Living



Check out the articles from Captial Public Radio The Union Newspaper & KNCO Radio


Special thanks to MOW Chair Rafael Diaz for his enthusiasm, support, and sponsorship of this pilot program.

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