VESTAL, NY – A local non-profit is using music to connect with residents at local care facilities.
The Memory Maker Project works primarily with those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, but has expanded their reach to all older adults in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They use a combination of music, art and culture to connect with participants and engage their minds.
This summer, they have started giving a series of concerts for residents at local facilities every Thursday.
Memory Maker Co-Founder and Director Christina Muscatello says artists are the second responders during the pandemic, creating a sense of meaning and purpose.
“It was just really heartwarming, and that was really evidenced by staff, the administrator came out and he was actually in tears, and the activities staff was in tears and I was in tears because it’s just been so isolating for the residents and it’s just so nice to have something from the outside world that’s beautiful and stimulating and connecting,” says Muscatello.
Musician and Music Therapist Kristen Carter has signed on to perform for the concert series.
Carter says that with the cancellation of many art programs, the concerts are a great way to bring local musicians back into the picture.
“Music is the only thing that activates both sides of our brain, a lot of people think it’s just the creative side. But just not only processing the auditory from the music but also processing lyrics, when you add rhythm, that activates so many different cortexes in our brains,” says Carter.
The concerts are every Thursday at 2, rotating around 5 local care facilities.
To see what else the Memory Maker Project is up to, you can visit them at MemoryMakerProject.org.
WATCH: Co-founder and Director Christina Muscatello talks about the Memory Maker Project and what they do:
WATCH: Music Therapist Kristen Carter talks about music and the brain and being a musician right now: