Music For Memory

Music for Memory: iPods for Alzheimer’s


For persons with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders, music can calm chaotic brain activity and enable the listener to focus on and enjoy the present moment. Favorite music can stimulate deep emotional recall, even for those in the advanced stages of dementia. In nursing homes and in home settings, personalized music has been shown to improve mood, increase physical activity and even reduce the use of antipsychotic medications.


SIU Medicine’s music for memory program is based on the work

of Dan Cohen and his not-for-profit, Music & Memory (  SIU Medicine’s program provides iPods (donated or new) and services to load the iPod with music specifically chosen for the individual. 


For information on the benefits of personalized music for those with memory loss:

  • “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory”: Award-winning documentary on Music and Memory founder, Dan Cohen, and the use of personalized music for persons with dementia and those who live in nursing homes.  Alive Inside is available on DVD and via Netflix streaming. Note: Watch this movie!
  • Music and Memory website:


Participation: Persons with memory loss are referred to the Music for Memory program through the SIU Medicine Memory & Aging Clinic.


Funding: SIU Medicine provides the staff for the program but private donations fund all iPods and music purchases. There is no cost to the patients or families.


Contact:  Maggie Schaver