Alive Inside

It was my junior year in college at Indiana University.  I was writing my main paper that semester on music therapy.  I’d spent months working on it (had it on a disc) and took it to my parent’s house a few states away for Thanksgiving break.  Sadly a tornado took our house (and that disc, the computer, our animals, piano, neighbors etc) the day after thanksgiving and I lost that paper forever. But I never for the message  of my piece or what I learned during my research. When I took some hypnotherapy courses later I also did some in music therapy (but never pursued a PhD in it like some of my colleagues)

I’m so glad to see this new documentary film Alive Inside (on the front of ABC today no less) finally come out so that the masses might learn about this long kept secret.

Music is an integral part of our lives. How sad it makes me that all these years later the star of this film  (if the patients aren’t the stars) social worker Dan Cohen, has struggled long and hard with the health care system to even ALLOW music into the nursing homes and institutions for the elderly and ill.  Only in the last 8 years has Cohen  had any success at all and even then it’s only about 1% of the people who have music therapy as part of any daily therapy.  Ironically it’s probably far cheaper than the expensive fancy meds many of them are on and yet it can do far more for those with dementia and a myriad of other diseases.

from the Music Therapy article:

“Music therapists say they’re only reaching one percent of the people that could use music, so I’m just trying to get to the other 99 percent,” Cohen said.

“It’s not a cure but it certainly is effective most of the time,” Cohen added.

Writer-director Michael Rossato-Bennett worked alongside Cohen, seeing the effects personalized music has had on people who have been otherwise unresponsive.

I definitely intend on seeing it and encourage anyone with a love of music (I hope you all have at least an appreciation) to go check it out!