“To be able to express a song, you’re literally capitalizing on the whole brain,” says Andy Tubman of Musical Health Technologies.
On a recent Thursday at OPICA, an adult daycare center in West Los Angeles, a music therapist named Andy Tubman leads a group of 10 seniors through a sing-along of “America the Beautiful.” As the music starts, he points to his ear. “Listen for the words,” he coaches.
The seniors -- all experiencing “some degree of cognitive decline,” as Tubman puts it -- start hesitantly at first. But with the therapist’s encouragement, most are soon belting out the familiar tune. “Oh my goodness, you’re singers!” Tubman effuses, as aging vocal cords strain to reach the high notes of “above the fruited plain.”
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