Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Music & Memory Program


WI Music and Memory


In 2013, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) staff watched a six-minute video clip of Henry, and it changed their lives. This video shows the power personalized music has on a person with profound dementia. Henry comes alive; communicating with his family, sharing long-locked memories and the joy he is feeling.

DHS staff contacted Dan Cohen's MUSIC & MEMORYSM Project and, with creative funding, established the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program. The program trained and supported staff to improve the care of residents with dementia and decrease the use of harmful medications.

The Wisconsin Music & Memory Program successfully funded over 300 nursing homes to become certified MUSIC & MEMORYSM facilities and provided equipment for over 3,500 nursing home residents through the MUSIC & MEMORYSM Certification Program. This program even expanded to assisted living communities and other health care facilities.


Seeing positive change

The Music & Memory Program:

  • Caused enjoyment in people with dementia.
  • Enhanced engagement with family and friends, fostering a calm social environment.
  • Reduced reliance on anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Improved staff engagement and morale.
  • Reduced agitation and sun-downing.
  • Reduced the use of bed and chair alarms.



Learn how the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program worked, and see how partnerships increased the program’s impact


Meet the residents who benefited from the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program, and see the research on why it was so successful.



Find out which nursing homes, assisted living, and other facilities are certified in Wisconsin. You can also use the national searchable database.

Have a question? Contact Music & Memory.

Last revised April 13, 2023