As I drove to the presentation I was giving to the Association of Educational Therapists, I needed to inject some adrenaline into my system, so I put Pink’s Greatest Hits and The Grass Roots Greatest Hits on my CD player in the car. By the time I arrived, I was ready to boogie and spread knowledge everywhere. Seems that isn’t a big reach and that music is being used in all areas to help alter moods, treat illness and calm agitation. According to an article about the Power of Music in this month’s AARP magazine, music is being used in adult day care and senior day centers and nursing homes in addition to hospitals. There are more than 6000 natinally certified music therapists.

U.S. Representative Garielle Giffords couldn’t talk after she was shot; however, she could sing a few words from her favorite songs. Using this ability, speech language pathologists had her sing her needs such as “I want to go to bed’ or “I’m tired.” Eventually, they were able to tie this to actual speech.

One of my friends who was a stutterer used music to help when he “blocked” and couldn’t get the words out. He would sing what he wanted to say. Interestingly, stutterers do not stutter when singing. And years ago, open heart surgery patients were encouraged to rapid recoveries by playing music that they hated in their rooms. I remember Henry Kissinger enduring acid rock music after his surgery and the doctors said he made a rapid recovery to flee from the ICU.

In a recent study by New York University Langone Medical Center’s Comprehensive Center on Brain Aging, a chorus made up of individuals with early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s  reported better self-esteem, better moods, less depression, and a greater qulaity of life after 13 rehersals and one concert.

So when you’re down, listen to music or sing even off tune. It will help you feel a lot better.