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 Success Stories


WI Music and Memory

Meet the residents who are benefiting from the Music & Memory Program


Corrinne and Paul

Corrinne is a resident at Northern Lights Health Care Center.

For years, Corrinne (pictured with her husband Paul) sang for church services, funerals, and weddings. Paul never heard Corrinne sing, it was something she never did while he was around. Corrinne now sings along with all of the songs on her personalized play list, all of which she selected.

Staff at Northern Lights Health Care Center have seen an increase in her appetite, smiles, and a decrease in sun-downing behaviors in the evenings.

"I firmly believe this is the best program ever, to entertain and occupy the minds of our loved ones that are confined to wheel chairs and beds, unable to get around and interact with friends and family as they once were able. Music has the ability to stimulate our whole being. Music is 'food for the Soul', without it the world would be a sad place indeed!" - Paul, Corrinne's husband.



Elsie listens to music with a blue ball in the air as part of Music and Memory Program.

Elsie is a resident at Columbia Health Care Center

Elsie and her husband would spend their weekends dancing at local dance halls, enjoying music. She has spent a good portion of the last couple of years with her eyes closed, rarely speaking. Since being introduced to personalized music, Elsie spends more time with her eyes open, with good eye contact, more tuned into her environment. While listening to her music, she taps her foot, claps her hands, smiles, laughs, and sometimes talks in sentences.

Elsie is once again participating in active range-of-motion groups, she holds her own church bulletin, and is more interactive with live music programs.

"You should see her tapping her toes and reaching her arms around to make a clap. Why we keep doing what we do." - Jeanne, Director of Social Services.

"Music brings out your own thoughts, feelings, and memories. The familiar music opens a gateway, allowing Elsie to communicate and interact again." - Stephanie, ATA, CNA.


Image of Judy who has a Success Story associated with the Music and Memory program


Judy is a resident at the Samaritan Health Center.

Judy was a person who spent most of her days expressionless and often with her eyes closed. When staff would ask her questions, she would very rarely answer them or give very short answers. Once in awhile she would give a smile. She also had issues accepting help with personal cares, where her anxiety levels would increase making it hard for staff to do them.

When we introduced the “Music and Memory” individualized music program, she was transformed. She opens her eyes more, smiles, answers staff in sentences, and has a better overall mood. She is even seen singing to the music that is playing. When asked if she enjoyed her music the first time, she stated “simply fantastic.”

Judy’s husband is very happy with the positive reaction she gives him and the staff at Samaritan Health Center. The staff sees the positive effect this has had on Judy and it just brings joy to them. Submitted by Patty Clark and Carrie Jeffords.

Washington County Samaritan Campus



Ken listens to music as part of Music and Memory Program.
Ken is a resident at LindenGrove.

When Ken was younger, he and his wife were very involved in church; they both loved music. Listening to hymns and Christian music takes him back to his involvement with church, while the music from the 60s takes him back to his teenage days.

Since being introduced to the personalized music, Ken has become more relaxed. He has a calmer, happier presence. The positive impact music has had on Ken's daily life, has brought excitement to his family and the staff members at LindenGrove.

"He can connect so little in other ways that the music is a way for him to cling onto what makes him happy." - Ken's wife Beth



Marcia listens to music


"I would like to comment on the music program that Congregation Home has provided. In Marcia's case, music that both of us like was put on an iPod. I brought the music in and it was transferred.

Both Marcia and I have headphones so we can both listen at the same time. I notice that Marcia tips her head back and has a relaxed look on her face.

This program gives us time to be together. In our case, it is the perfect program. Thank you." - Marcia's husband Warren







Margaret is a resident at Northern Lights Health Care Center.

Margaret's days were often spent relaxing and eating in her room alone. During her Activity Interview, she only expressed that she had a passion for music.

Andrea Bocelli has stolen her heart! When he begins to sing in Italian, her world stops as her eyes shut, her head and body move to the music. She has gone from spending time alone in her room, to visiting and being a social butterfly during each meal.

"Music makes me feel dreamy, you know, nice. It sends me, it's like I'm gone with the music." - Margaret







Rosario listens to music as part of Music and Memory program.
Rosario is a resident at Manitowoc Health & Rehab Center.

Music has always been and continues to be very important to Rosario. She always had music playing while she did her housework and gardening. Rosario and her daughter would dance together.

Since the program has been introduced, Rosario's episodes of anxiety and restlessness have decreased, especially in the afternoon hours. Her personalized music is in Spanish and very often she dances and sings along.

"When watching Rosario with her music, she has a huge smile on her face, and claps and sings along. She is so happy with her music." - Maureen, Manitowoc Health & Rehab Center staff member.


Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Logo

Susan is a member of the Oneida tribal community.

Susan is a participant in the Music & Memory Project. She received her iPod and music in early March 2016. Her daughter shared the following story:

"Susan lives alone and experiences a great deal of anxiety and fearfulness each evening and especially at bedtime. She has started using her iPod prior to going to bed. Her anxiety and fearfulness has been greatly reduced and Susan is sleeping much better. We believe the music has helped her greatly just in this short amount of time."




Warren is a resident at Columbia Health Care Center.

Upon admission, Warren shared his memories of dancing with his wife at local dance halls. Before personalized music, he was seen expressionless, with his eyes shut, and slumped over. Now his beautiful eyes are open and his personality has surfaced. He sings most of the time now, even without his music.

Warren hadn't been on an outing in over two years before the addition of the personalized music. He attended the Dual County Band Concert this summer, tapping his feet and singing along.

"My dad was lost without music. Now he laughs, engages in our conversation again, and even recognizes us when we visit." - Sharon, Warren's daughter

Last revised January 27, 2023