According to the Institute for Music and Neuralgic Function, a leading authority in clinical music therapy, numerous studies demonstrate that familiar and likable music can reduce depression while increasing sociability, movement and cognitive ability and decreasing agitation and other behavior problems.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Warwick Lions Club and the efforts of Recreation Therapy Aide Jennifer Emm, each Wednesday Mount Alverno Center residents now have an opportunity to enjoy an evening of singing, laughing and playing instruments with Certified Music Therapist Melinda Burgard.
Mount Alverno Center is a New York State approved Adult Home with an Assisted Living Program on the Warwick Campus of the Bon Secours Charity Health System. Its goal is for each resident to maintain a maximum level of independence. Individualized care plans are designed to help residents reach their utmost daily potential. Services are based on a team approach and are provided by highly competent professionals dedicated to the comfort and safety of the residents.
Burgard, owner of Melinda’s Music Therapy, earned her Masters Degree in music from New York University and has been involved with music therapy for over 30 years. She is licensed to practice psychotherapy and is one of the State’s licensed mental health professionals.
Burgard explained that this type of therapy for older adults uses music as a vehicle to achieve nonmusical goals. There is no requirement that the participants have a music background or even know how to play any instruments.
“Most people,” she said, “remember the songs and even if they can’t remember all the words, enjoy singing them.”