Music and Movement with Senior Citizens

March 31, 2019 / By: Blake E. Schlarmann

On a global level, the senior population is the fastest growing demographic. Though many music therapists have focused on providing services to senior citizens, our current music education system focuses most on youth and young adult training, leaving a large gap that needs to be filled. One third of people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year. Falls occur most while walking, often while multitasking, and with our aging population, these falls need to be addressed. There are many exercise-based fall prevention methods available for seniors, and though many of them are well designed, most of them do not appeal to seniors in the long term. This project focuses on building a curriculum that is relevant to seniors' life stage, preferences, and physical, psychological, and social needs with the hope of providing a meaningful and enjoyable experience that can improve their quality of life and promote better health. Employing the Dalcroze approach in a curriculum for community-dwelling seniors, as outlined in this project, has
great potential, because it focuses on building community, playing enjoyable games and activities, and moving to music while providing physical and mental challenges that can mimic everyday life, invigorate the soul, and enhance confidence.