Music is such a large part of our lives it seems hard to imagine not hearing familiar chord progressions during a drive to work or while getting ready for the day. For some though, music plays a much larger part in life. A part that is being brought in the form of personalized iPods and headphones to members of Carbon and Emery County.
Active Re-Entry, a facility focused on helping those with disabilities achieve a better lifestyle, is currently working with a grant provided by the Music and Memory Project to provide the healing gift of music as a free program to recipients.
The music aims to help recipients find emotional support, increase overall physical rehabilitation, increase treatment motivation and many others.
“The reason for this is because music can balance hormones, boost the release of endorphins, giving you a greater sense of peaceConnie, which could lead to faster recovery and give you more profound healing,” Connie Dyreng explained.
“My role is to solicit referrals from the community for people who would benefit by participating, deliver the iPods/headphones to the recipients and monitor use of the equipment,” she said.
The first note in this symphony is played when Dyreng meets with those who could benefit from the program and establishes the kind of music they would like to listen to.
If the person is able, they can tell her themselves, or, if for any reason, they cannot adequately communicate, Dyreng usually turns to family, relatives or nursing staff. She then returns to the Carbon County-based facility where an iPod is prepared with the requested music.
“They have downloaded hundreds and hundreds of songs,” Dyreng expressed. “We can get whatever they want.” Songs can range anywhere from patriotic tunes, to violin solos to even Michael Jackson.
“It’s up to them,” Dyreng explained further about what happens after the device is loaded with music. She then gives it to the consumer who then has two options: listen to the songs at random or listen to them in order and follow along with a typed list of songs provided by Active Re-Entry.
Dyreng has already seen the fruits of her labor in this area. She recalls a time with a specific patient who was not responsive during Dyreng’s initial visit. “But,” she said, “the day I delivered her iPod and headset things changed. Her eyes lit up and her whole countenance changed when she began listening to her music.”
The gift of music is available to those who feel they may benefit from it. Those who deal with limited motor skills, Alzheimer’s, mood swings, depression, dementia, as well as those with physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs are among those who could benefit, Dyreng explained.
Those interested in learning more or possibly providing a referral for the program are encouraged to contact either Connie Dyreng (299-2833) or Lisa at Active Re-Entry.
“That’s the thing with music,” Dyreng testified, “you kind of grow up with music. It sticks with you.”