Music can affect us in powerful ways, especially when it comes to mood and memory. In support of this engaging connection, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is proud to introduce Passport to Music in 2019 in partnership with the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). The new life enrichment program is designed for persons with mild to moderate memory loss and their care partners. The participants will experience a different region of the world each week through music being encouraged to explore memories and engage in interactive experiences in this unique environment. MIM fosters appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul.

“We’re excited to offer this series to people and families within our community, because it offers an opportunity to help them remain socially active and engaged which is key to maintaining quality of life,” said Lori Nisson, LCSW, Family and Community Services director. “Recent studies convey the health benefits of music intervention for these patients. People living with Alzheimer’s and other related dementias maintain musical aptitude and appreciation. While dementia affects mood, memory and language; music can function as a powerful tool in eliciting positive memories, emotions and interactions.”

Local resident Diane Gerdts has seen the positive results music has had on her 85-year old husband Marlin, who has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was first diagnosed about four years ago. Being a previous choir director, Diane knows the power and influence of music so was thrilled to participate during the pilot program. She said she couldn’t believe how much Marlin enjoyed himself. “My husband really blossomed during that event. That was a joy to me,” she said. “But it was also a great experience for me to meet other families and caregivers. We’re all going through the same journey in different ways, and that connection was incredible.”

The Passport to Music series will be offered over the course of five weeks during 2019, and participants are encouraged to attend all sessions in their selected series. Each session will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Musical Instrument Museum, main entrance lobby, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd, Phoenix.

Dates for each series are:
Spring series – May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Summer series – Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Fall series – Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, Dec. 6
The cost to participate is $50 per pair and people can register by emailing [email protected], or calling (602) 839-6850.

This program was funded by generous support from Rosario Strano in honor of his wife Judy Loker to the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation. To support programs and activities, visit