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A World of Music for Residents: the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix's Senior Wellness Program


What’s your favorite song? And how do you feel after you hear it? Energized? Nostalgic? Happy?

For older adults, music participation is linked to improved cognitive and physical functioning and increased emotional well-being. In response to increased social isolation during the pandemic, the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix (MIM) developed two online video collections to enhance well-being and quality of life for seniors. Curators from MIM lead residents through a virtual museum visit and music therapy students from Arizona State University (ASU) guided residents through therapeutic rhythm, song, and movement activities. Thoughtfully designed, one collection was created for more active seniors and the other for those in need of memory care. A trailer for the program can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc13wmSDmkg.




Since early 2022, CHN has partnered with MIM and ASU to evaluate the impact of the video collection with residents who reside at three CHN member communities. Life Enrichment staff members developed five activity sessions, centered around the MIM video collections, that focused on music from multiple world regions; residents experienced music from the Middle East, Oceania/Polynesia, and Latin America to name a few. Throughout the study, CHN researchers asked participating residents to answer questions about their activities, quality of life, and social relationships. Life Enrichment staff also answered questions about the quality of life of participating memory care residents.


Preliminary results suggest that the physical and emotional well-being of residents improved during the study period. Furthermore, there was an increase in the amount of time that memory care residents enjoyed interacting with others. This may indicate that participation in a music-focused activity can enhance the quality of life and tendency for social interaction of senior care residents.


CHN has been pleased to collaborate with MIM and ASU to help bring this high-quality recreational programming to CHN senior residents. With promising evaluation results, we hope that the MIM Senior Wellness program will be accessible to even more senior residents throughout the country. In this way, seniors and Life Enrichment staff can share in the benefits of music recreation together.


To purchase the MIM Senior Wellness collection, contact MIM’s Group Sales Specialist at 480-478-6031 or adulttours@mim.org.


We would like to thank the following communities for their dedicated participation in the evaluation: Beatitudes Health Care Center, Kivel Campus of Care, and LifeStream Complete Senior Living at Cook.