The Power of Music at Moravian Village

It doesn’t matter if you’re hitting a drum, shaking maracas, or just singing your heart out… music has a way of uniting.   It’s also a powerful tool that enriches the lives of our senior citizens.   Last month our residents embarked on a simple yet effective musical journey with ukuleles.  They were able to sign out the instrument for several weeks, have a class every other Friday and were encouraged to get together on their own to explore!    In the end, a single chord was played, strumming patterns were introduced, and rounds of “Row- Row -Row Your Boat” echoed down the hallway.

It is proven that learning a musical instrument not only assists with strengthening neuropathways but also creates new ones.  The brain is stimulated!   Let’s take our beloved Ukulele as an example. It was creating notes with your left hand, strumming with your right hand, and understanding rhythm while you strum all while singing a song.   A whole lot is going on at once!   Of course, the older we get the harder it is just to pick up something quickly, but that’s the beauty and challenge of it all.   A person over the age of 70 with no knowledge of music able to strum a single chord and sing along in a group?  It’s a beautiful moment and one I am looking forward to witnessing again and again as our ukulele classes have only just begun.

Music doesn’t stop with our ukulele classes.  That was the latest addition to complement other music programs we offer such as our chorus and bell choir, both resident-run.  The latter is another great example of music as a form of therapy.   According to Janet Hofmeister, our resident bell choir director, it’s all about hand and eye coordination while making music together.   The counting, the togetherness, teamwork, and weekly practices pay off with the concerts they perform throughout the year.  In return, residents feel good about themselves which leads to healthier, happier, and more productive lives.




David Seaman

Life Enrichment Manager

Moravian Village of Bethlehem