*By Ryan Lathan
A seven-week series designed to enrich the lives of individuals at home with dementia in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, this innovative new program is funded in part by a generous grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, in partnership with Dementia Friendly Fort Worth and the United Way Area Agency on Aging in Texas.
Fort Worth, Texas — Fort Worth Opera (FWO) announced today the launch of Music, Memory, and More, a seven-week series (March 30, April 8, 22, May 13, 27, and June 10, 15 at 10:30 am CST). This series features guest artists from Fort Worth Opera, along with the company’s talented Lesley Resident Artists. Each hour-long event begins with a mini-concert. During the first event on Tuesday, March 30, this therapeutic program will consist of two 20-minute segments. The first half of every session will feature musical performances followed by an interactive activity. Each activity is specifically designed to engage individuals living with dementia in the DFW area. In addition to the March 30 event, the series will be offered twice monthly through April, May, and June. Supported in part by a special grant from the Texas Commission of the Arts, this inspiring new series is an extension of Fort Worth Opera’s special community programming and marks the inaugural collaboration between FWO, Dementia Friendly Fort Worth, and the United Way Area Agency on Aging in Texas.
The connection between music and memory has been the ongoing subject of international research for many decades. A recent clinical study published in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease found that musical stimuli delayed cognitive decline and showed improvement in brain network synchronization within individuals suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. ¹ Musical aptitude and appreciation are two of the final remaining cognitive abilities in the minds of dementia patients, and musical memory appears to endure long after the mind has begun to deteriorate. With more than 100 types of incurable dementia in existence, Fort Worth Opera hopes this series will provide another impactful way to move beyond the stigma of the disease, share our passion for music, and connect with members of our community.
Music, Memory, and More will feature FWO Manager of Education and Community Engagement, Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, and a guest presenter who will guide participants through fun and engaging activities, including music, movement, music therapy, call and response interaction, and socialization. Having a routine is beneficial for individuals living with dementia, so FWO has chosen to offer this program twice a month through June of this year. Within these recorded sessions, there will be opportunities to discuss the art form of opera, learn more about the six historical periods of classical music and the different voice types. There will also be many moments throughout this series where participants can sing along. For those who cannot join us, each recording will be available to watch online through Worth Opera and Dementia Friendly Fort Worth’s YouTube channels for thirty days following each session.
To attend, please contact Gail Snider at firstname.lastname@example.org and 817-994-3803.
https://www.fwopera.org | https://dffw.org
This project is supported in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts and United Way.
DEMENTIA FRIENDLY FORT WORTH: Dementia Friendly Fort Worth collaborates with community partners to advocate for systems change and provide education, resources, and services that will enhance the lives of those with dementia and their care partners. The organization offers innovative social opportunities, activities, and educational opportunities for persons living with dementia, to increase awareness and understanding.
*Ryan Lathan is the manager of Marketing and Communications at Fort Worth Opera and music critic at PopMatters.