What is it?

The Mason Music & Memory Initiative improves the quality of life of persons living with dementia by using personalized music to access long-held joyful memories and positive emotions.  Click the video below to learn about the Mason Music & Memory Initiative.

Music has been found to successfully soothe and comfort persons with dementia, as well as reduce negative states such as agitation and depression. When implemented consistently over time, this person-centered approach of using music to soothe and comfort persons with dementia has the potential to reduce the need for costly pharmacologic interventions.  The Mason Music & Memory Initiative program is part of the national Music & Memory program founded by Dan Cohen in 2008.  To see how the Music & Memory program can open up a new experience for people with dementia, click here to see a video of Henry, one of the Music & Memory participants.

Starting in 2019, the Mason Music & Memory Initiative researchers will be contacting nursing homes throughout the state of Virginia to recruit participants for a study on the effectiveness of Music & Memory. The purpose of the study will be to measure the impacts of personalized music on the mood, behavior and quality of life of persons with dementia.  Through funding from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), Mason Music & Memory Initiative researchers hope to provide this person-centered program to residents in at least 144 Medicaid-funded nursing homes in the state of Virginia.

To join the Mason Music and Memory Initiative, contact us at musicmem@gmu.edu. Or call our project coordinator, Shannon Layman, at 703-993-1913.