We already know how much listening to music can benefit Alzheimer’s patients thanks to the documentary “Alive Inside.” Now, new research shows that singing show tunes can boost brain function for a disease that is cruelly known for mental deterioration.
In a study led by George Mason University in Virginia, a group of patients living in care facilities were exposed to a singing program for four months, belting out tunes from “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Sound of Music” and “Pinocchio.” After the end of the evaluation period, the patients scored higher on cognitive and drawing tests than those who had just listened to music. The singing group also reported a higher satisfaction of life.
Why show tunes?
Well, researchers did not find a link to the specific benefits of singing musicals over any other genre of music. Still, these songs – most of which were performed decades ago – might be easier for Alzheimer patients to perform. They are most likely to remember the words to these songs and revive memories of their life, Flinn said.
This is also further proof of the benefits of music for those who play and sing. Remember, just listening to music is not enough.
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