Opera Saratoga Brings Music to Memory Care Centers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (NEWS10) – Opera Saratoga is now offering an interactive music program for residents of Capital Region memory care centers. The opera recently hired two singers and two pianists for its Songs by Heart program.

Musicians are trained in therapeutic techniques such as mirroring, direct eye contact, swaying to the beat, and holding hands with residents throughout the program. Singers encourage residents to join in the singing, clapping and moving, as well as engaging in conversation centered around the musical selections.

The music is taken from popular music from the 1920s to the 1950s and includes popular songs such as “Take me out to the ball game”, “Home on the range”, “Edelweiss” and many other popular, folk and patriotic familiar to the residents.

Each of Opera Saratoga’s Songs by Heart artists has been trained by Songs by Heart’s artistic administrator, Emily Becker, and board-certified music therapist, Jenny Cook. Becker and Cook trained around 150 musicians across the county.

Opera Saratoga is the first opera company in the country to offer this type of therapeutic memory care to its local community. The organization plans to begin serving facilities in its seven-county service area, from southern Albany to Lake George. It is the only Songs by Heart program in New York State.

For more information or to register for a demo session at a memory care center near you, contact Opera Saratoga’s Senior Community Education and Outreach Program Manager, Melissa Howe, at ( 518) 584-6018 or [email protected]

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