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September 2019

Player piano as therapy for the elderly

Journal/Book: Journal of Music Therapy. 1984; 21: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. National Association for Music Therapy 8455 Colesville Rd., Suite 930 20910 Silver Spring, Maryland USA. 35-45.

Abstract: With the increasing geriatric population, more research is needed to identify strategies for enriching the quality of life for older adults. Music therapy has been well documented for its beneficial effects on physical and mental health. The notion of using player piano music as therapy for the elderly evolved because of the absence of this approach in the literature. Eleven elderly clients in a midwestern retirement center participated in an ABA experimental design to measure reponses to player piano music. Cognitive, affective, and behavioral data were collected through observational and subjective interview tools. Results demonstrated marked increments of rhythmic and extremity responses to musical treatment. Additionally, player piano music was enjoyed and enhanced a state of well-being and youth, enabled retrieval of specific long-term memories, and provided "action-oriented" cognitive themes and stimulation.

Keyword(s): elderly, nursing-home, older-adults, geriatric, piano, cognitive-ability, affective-behavior, behavior, player-piano.

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