Hi, my name is Amy Standridge and I’m a board certified music therapist and owner of oak song music therapy and consulting services here in San Antonio and I am so pleased to be here at mmlearn.org Making a video for you the caregiver Showing you some ways that you can use music with your loved one or your patient in the case of a professional relationship So why music? Well music is fun. But also it’s process globally in the brain when we’re engaging in music We’re not only listening to it, but we’re participating We’re reminiscing We are sometimes singing we start to moving. There’s a lot that goes on in a musical experience as a music therapist, I do a lot of participation on live music making sometimes people think that a music therapist will They ask me. Do you play music for people? Well, yes, I do. But what I want to do is engage engage people in music and I want to show you today how you can do that without being a board-certified in music therapists I have lots of letters but when it comes down to it you’re the expert on your loved one or patient and you’re the one who understands them the best and I want to encourage you today that you can use music with your patients. Even if you’re not a professional musician so one thing that an easy way to participate in music without any instruments is singing so I am NOT a beautiful trained singer, but I do it a lot and so I’m confident about it and What I would encourage you to do is when we’re working with somebody who has Alzheimer’s or related dementia, or any older adult with special needs Or any older does well with needs any older adult who breathes air We’re asking them to take a lot of risks we’re asking them to do things that are scary and hard and So I think it’s the least that we can do is step out of our comfort zone a little bit when working with those people that makes us feel uncomfortable so that terribly this won’t be painful but I am gonna Do some singing today and show you how you can do that – I’m not a trained singer, but I’m confident doing it So I would ask you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try one of the beautiful things about singing is that even if you don’t know the words you can still hum along and in fact, if you think about a lot of popular music and Many of it many of the popular songs of today have a lot of nonsense words Not even music from today, but just music in general if you think about Simon and Garfunkel’s the boxer Half of the lyrics are lie. Lie lie lie lie Lie, lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie Anybody can sing lie lie lie, it doesn’t require a lot of cognitive load So when we’re working with older adults Who have moderate – later stages of dementia? We need to make sure that we make the activities and inviting and easy to participate in so you might be watching this today and You are not a caregiver, maybe or someone who’s? Experiencing the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s type or just NCI any other? Any other needs that you might have? And you might think it’s too late to start learning how to play music and I want to tell you that it’s not too late That the research has shown that even the late stages of dementia. We can learn new things and into early to moderate stages of dementia Using music will stave off those symptoms. We’re not going to cure it We know that but we can stave off the symptoms and keep our active keep our lives vibrant and active for as long as we can and Music is one good way to do that. So We need to think about music preference people say music is relaxing And of course it is but not if you don’t like what you’re listening to so I want you to make sure that you’re participating in and using music that you or your loved one really engages in and It’s meaningful for them. It can bring back lots of fun memories and sometimes not fun memories But we can then discuss but it does provide a avenue for communication So I am going to I brought some instruments with me today, and I want to show you How you can use these either by yourself or with your loved ones? So the first thing that I have we’ll start with the easy instruments are just some basic rhythmic Instruments that you can get you can buy them online There’s several resources at the end of this video. I’ll give you my contact information You can contact me if you need some more resources and where to purchase but for example Here’s my little tambourine here. I bought this tambourine for three dollars Maybe even five dollars, but I bought it five and below a local store. There’s several of them in town I want to show you that you don’t have to have an expensive piano or a synthesizer or a guitar in order to engage and music making so I’ve got this simple instrument here and I want to sing a song and play an instrument along a Song that I use a lot you are my sunshine It tends to be something that people typically know but again if it’s not a piece of music that you participate Particularly engage in that use something else but you just hit the tambourine with one hand you are like You are my Sunshine my only sunshine you make me happy when skies are gray you’ll never know dear how much i love you You please don’t take my sunshine away It’s yellow – so it’s like sunshine colors even better Another instrument that you can use just very easily with someone or by yourself It’s a little drum and this is a souvenir drum That I got in Costa Rica But I wanted you to know that you don’t have to again have a super expensive drum that you’ve bought at the drum Center I don’t think there’s such a thing as the drum Center, but this is my son’s drum It cost, you know ten dollars or something and this is a very easy instrument to play very accessible It has a hole in the bottom You want to make sure the air comes through there if it’s too big and it has a hole? You don’t want it on the ground. It won’t sound it’s nice. Again. This is a toy. It’s not gonna sound wonderful, but it’s functional I’ll try to think of another song got it. I’ve been working on the railroad all the live long day Got it easy sing along play your drum You’re experiencing all the benefits that come from singing improve respiration improve mood improve Articulation and communication and you’re also experiencing that everything that you when you’re playing an instrument You’re using your body you’re using your muscles to hold up the instrument you’re using bilateral coordination to play each Another thing you can do with this if you’re working with somebody else an individual it sit across from one another This is small. Did you get each each hit or strike the drum? Then you’re facing one another as well. And so you’re getting that one-to-one close close them communication I Don’t have experience with my own loved ones and dementia But I do have experience with caregivers who have had this going on in their lives. And so One thing I’ve heard is it’s hard to find meaningful activities that you can do together Especially as our loved one declines this is something that you can do together for a long time Research has shown that the rhythmic functions of music. Stay intact even late into dementia I have patients and clients who I see who don’t seem to be engaging at all But if I put the instrument real close to them and play it with them They’ll become alert But they’ll sometimes play along. Sometimes it takes a while to feel comfortable and that’s okay. We’ll take lots of time Let’s see what else I brought some jingle bells These are really easy Christmas is coming up. You can sing jingle bells with these or any other song I use this sometimes with them. I got Spurs that jingle jangle Jingle, if you have a country music fan in your life, very simply to shake them Egg shakers Anybody can play this Uh, what song would go good with the egg shakers again songs that you know and songs that you like shake it up baby now Shake it up, baby twist and shout Swift and shout come on. Come on. Come on. Come on, baby now. Come on, baby Work it on out see how warm in my trunk I’m playing instruments. I’m getting the feedback I’m singing I’m participating in music something very simple You could do in the mirror if you’re by yourself or with your loved one if you have them with you like shakers There’s some rhythm sticks the fancy word are claw days sometimes Tim ballets and You just click them together. This is fun If you get a couple of these and you’re playing with an individual you have a partner you can Click and that tap click You can make it fancy or simple quick tap depending so this is a very accessible activity You don’t have to work with a partner You don’t have to have your your loved one playing with you, but that’s also a good way You’re communicating still you’re making eye contact together. You’re having fun It doesn’t require a lot of language something very simple that you can do at home And excited to have found in our community here in San Antonio some opportunities for music making I want to also say that it’s I Think I mentioned this before it’s not too late to start a music lessons You can even start music lessons If you are have been diagnosed with dementia and you want to learn a new skill It would also be something fun to do as a caregiver to engage in music lessons with your loved one maybe it’s your husband or your wife and You’re looking for meaningful things to do together and you’ve liked Enjoyed music and you’ve said I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the ukulele Play the ukulele they’re not expensive. I brought one I’m going to show you just something very similar that you can do. You can take lessons together. I Mentioned before that. I think it’s important for us to be willing to be vulnerable with our loved ones What better way than to learn something something brand-new? Don’t be nervous. I brought my guitar today. I mean not my guitar I brought my ukulele today. I Have a couple this one I bought in Hawaii you can buy Ukulele at any guitar store in town. There’s also an Olmos Park I’m trying to give a plug. I can’t remember their name guitar Tech’s This one I bought in Hawaii. I don’t use it a lot because it has cracks in it. That’s not the perfect instrument. But I Feel like and working with older adults and aging myself. I’m getting some cracks too. I love this instrument. I’m just gonna use it So I’m going to show you just a very simple song that you can use that you can play on a ukulele and just how easy it is a Guitar has six strings a ukulele or a uke has four and you hold it against your body and You can play a nice chord with this little it’s few as one fingers. I’m gonna take my middle finger I’m gonna put it on this third fret These are each called frets here and I’m gonna strum Just one beat Row Row Row your boat gently down the stream, merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream The one chord song it’s not the most intricate song you’ll ever play but it’s music Michael row your boat ashore, hallelujah, Michael row your boat ashore hallelujah. As long as they’re meant to have that songs meant to have more than one chord But you can play it just as fun and just as beautifully with just one chord I want to tell you there’s a group in town called ukulele ladies and gents I have not been I have been meaning to I believe they need Thursdays at 1:00 You can call my number at the end and I could get you some more information or they’re on Facebook if you’re on social media Ukulele, ladies and gents, and it’s a ukulele choir for people with no experience. You can have experience, but you don’t need to for older adults age 55 not So that would be a fun activity that you could do by yourself or with your loved one to be Become to continue to be engaged It’s important that we’re with other people and what better way to engage with others than to have a fun experience like playing music so ukulele ladies and gents is one of the options going to Put away my cracked. Ukulele it sounds just fine. You can buy a ukulele for $100 you can get in for cheap I would be careful not to buy a toy because you can get you know little ukuleles for that. You might buy for a grandchild For Christmas, but they’re not gonna sound as well and they’re not gonna stay tuned as long So another opportunity that is happening here in San Antonio is Oakside music therapy along with UT health is starting a choir for people with dementia and their caregivers We will be meeting on Fridays from 11 to 12 currently at the Universalist Unitarian Church Near Crossroads Mall. That’s also a no experience necessary choir, it’s free It’s a chance for you to get out with your loved one and participate in a socially valuable Activities such as music have some fun learn something new We’re gonna start out with Christmas carols because it’s October what will be October it’s a time of making this video Christmas is coming up and then in the spring we’ll do some other repertoire and I want to make sure that I find out people’s musical preferences. I keep talking about that and Because I want it to be music that’s valuable to everybody So a community choir churches still have choirs here and there not some of them don’t but you can still find a community choir to church to participate in our UT health choir will be called grace notes choir that’s coming up. Ukulele letters ladies and gents music lessons I currently as a music therapist and not offering music lessons But there are lots of people in town who do and especially if you like I was when I played the ukulele I simplified that song significantly and if you can find a Teacher who is willing to make some accommodations if you have some physical or mental challenges I can help you find that person to just let me know so Why should I engage in music making we talked about one-on-one why we should do that with our loved one. It improves communication it’s Fun it releases healthy hormones in our brains. It’s globally processed It keeps us younger It can stave off symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, it will not cure but it will keep us active later into the disease progression and Then in terms of becoming involved in a community groups such as the ukulele choir or a singing choir You are engaging with others who are like-minded who others who are in similar life situations who could really relate to what you’re going through and We’ll have time for socialization at least you might have time for socialization So you get to know others it’ll normalize your experience It’ll get you out the sense of isolation that comes with aging in general and especially when one hat when you have dementia or are caring for somebody with dementia is really it’s really something to think about getting out there and becoming less isolated and I would I’m hoping that there will be even more community opportunities to do that so decrease isolation and Shared enjoyment a socially valuable activity to do together Something that involves getting out of the house that doesn’t involve going to the doctor Somewhere where you can learn a new skill and somewhere you where you can get to know like-minded individuals And you’re in your similar life situation? So I’ve talked mostly about how to involve with a with your loved one and music-making But I also want to again encourage this for you as a caregiver how important the music can be for your own mental health Singing as I have mentioned before in this in a different video improves increases your secretion of oxytocin Oxytocin and some other feel-good hormones in the brain. It also has been shown to decrease stress hormones That’s very important. And so engaging in music making active music making will help you in those ways and an Emotional outlet I played with the sticks and the drum. Those are objects that you are Striking with your hands you’re striking them together. That’s very satisfying And socially appropriate way to really get out some of those and some of those feelings you can take your drum and Just play however, you feel so opportunities for emotional expression and then also talking a lot about live music Because that’s that’s what I do. I provided live music and show others how to do that. But music listening is very valuable, too there’s some programs that if you’re a caregiver in a Community where you can have access to recorded music and that’s wonderful for things such as decreasing in anxiety during meal times or doing bath times I don’t want to discourage from recorded music but live music since it is processed globally in the brain and since it does require so much so many different and so many different behaviors live music really is a wonderful way to experience music in older adulthood and So thank you so much for watching my video today We are doing a series of Videos for mmlearn.org, so come back for some future information And in the meantime if you need to contact me, my number is an awesome number, but I do live in San Antonio Oaksongmusictherapy.com is my website and my phone number is listed on there oaksongmusictherapy.com Thank you, and let’s make music together