Tag Archives: Holiday Carols

Music to Remember

Two LA Opera artists—soprano Karen Hogle-Brown and tenor Ashley Faatoalia—perform at USC’s Keck Medical Center.

Two LA Opera artists—soprano Karen Hogle-Brown and tenor Ashley Faatoalia—perform at
USC’s Keck Medical Center.

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

– Hans Christian Andersen

Music is a universal language that feeds the soul.

People connect with music on another level that involves the brain in ways that neuroscientists are still exploring (learn more here). While the science behind music and memory is nascent (research is primarily observational at this point), there is reason to believe that music can stir memories in people with dementia. For the past two years, LA Opera, the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and the Alzheimer’s Association of Southern California have partnered to bring music – and perhaps memories – to patients living with memory loss, Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia in a program called “Music to Remember.” During the performances, LA Opera teaching artists sing holiday carols to residents (and workers) in long-term care and assisted living facilities throughout Los Angeles, suffering from ­dementia. Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students from the ZNI who work on the neurobiology of aging and memory accompany the group of teaching artists and observe the effects their singing has on patients.

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