Music and Memory

. 1 min read

By Kara Witherow, Editor

There’s something about music that can instantly change a mood or transport a person to another place and time, rekindling memories long forgotten. 

There’s also evidence that music helps people suffering from dementia. As theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Music . . . in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” 

Rufus Jones, a resident of Blair House Senior Living Community, a senior living facility in Macon, is a former musician who played with the likes of Otis Redding, James Brown, and others of that era. He cried when recently given an iPod shuffle filled with soul and rhythm and blues music.

A patient in Blair House’s Memory Care Unit, Jones received the iPod as part of Centenary United Methodist Church’s Music and Memory Project, a ministry that provided the music players and 20 songs free of charge to each of the unit’s 40 residents.

“He truly came alive when he heard it,” said Caroline Nickel, one of the Music and Memory Program’s founders. “He smiled, cried, and chatted about his days as a musician. He was very happy.”

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