The Dangers of Overestimating Music Therapy (The Atlantic)
July 18, 2014
In an opinion piece for The Atlantic, Professor Steve Swayne says that while songs can help dementia patients recall memories, it is important to realize that music may also invoke false memories and confusion. “For someone suffering from dementia, we have no easy way of knowing whether she is genuinely recalling a song and how the recall challenges her present situation, which is decidedly not that earlier time and place,” he writes.
Swayne, the Jacob H. Strauss 1922 Professor of Music and chair of the Department of Music, continues, “We hope that the patient is experiencing joy, but that joy can be laced with anxiety or even terror from being awakened by familiar sounds into an unfamiliar world.”
Read the full opinion piece, published 7/15/14 by The Atlantic.