Music Therapy for Memory Enhancement

The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) helps patients maximize their memory capability through the strategic use of music in its outpatient program. Patients are eligible for the IMNF’s renowned music therapy program through CenterLight Health System. In addition, private patients are able to schedule appointments to receive music therapy through The IMNF Music Therapy Professionals Practice. The licensed therapists use certain songs to stimulate past memories, images and personal experiences. Music therapists can help patients memorize new information such as names and phone numbers, as well as improve attention and reduce agitation.

What to Expect

Familiar songs are used to stimulate memory.

Musical improvisation enhances self–expression when meaningful words are not possible.

Rhythm based activities increase attention and focus.

Phrases are put to music to aid memory recall.

Music Therapy can provide results including:

Improved memory

Increased attention and focus

Increased motivation

Improved cognitive skills

Increased self–expression

Increased awareness of self and others

Reduced agitation

Music has the capacity to stimulate seemingly lost memories in individuals with memory deficits due to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, head trauma or stroke. The IMNF helps patients respond to familiar songs, even when recognition of language and visual objects is no longer possible. This suggests that the way the brain remembers music is different from the way it remembers people, personal experiences, and other memories. Therefore, patients may be able to use music to access memories that were thought to be forgotten.

For more information on the programs and services available by the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, please call 718-519-5840 or email

Music & Memory Articles

To learn more about the benefits of music therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, please read the following articles:

When Music Heals Body and Soul
Oliver Sacks, Parade Magazine, March 31, 2002

Music Therapy for People with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease
Education Update Online, May 2001

Music Therapy for Parkinson’s and Dementia
Caregiver Network, Inc.