Health Care News

Music & Memory Program: It’s Music to Their Ears

By Roxie Severance | June 11, 2018

Nursing Home Residents Across New Hampshire Are Benefitting From Music & Memory Program

Music is a powerful memory tool and provides people with a sense of comfort and familiarity.

This is especially true for those suffering from dementia. Since December 2017, 74 nursing homes throughout New Hampshire have received training through a program that aims to help nursing home workers better engage with these residents through music.

The New Hampshire Sector Partnerships Initiative (SPI) has helped facilitate training for the Music & Memory Program, created by Music & Memory, Inc.  Music & Memory is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly through digital music technology. The Music & Memory Program increases engagement and morale for staff working with residents suffering from dementia and as a result are combative with their caregivers during daily care. Nursing homes have been partnering with volunteers from New Hampshire’s Extended Learning Opportunities Network to implement the program.

The partnership with the Extended Learning Opportunities Network places high school students in nursing homes. The students then provide technical and hands-on assistance with the program in exchange for high school credits. Interested New Hampshire students help by gathering music histories and uploading them to MP3 players. This action enables residents to listen to music that is personalized to them and can help elicit memories that may have been lost to dementia or other ailments. Through the partnership, students are receiving exposure to careers in the health care field while nursing home employees are gaining new skills, improving both today and tomorrow’s workforce.

Man listening to music on headphones, part of the NH Music & Memory Program

photo credit: iStock

A great start

“Staff morale has drastically improved through the implementation of the Music & Memory Program at Hillsborough County Nursing Home,” said Kara Dubosh, head nurse at the Hillsborough County Nursing Home. “We are seeing a lot of teamwork and excitement among staff surrounding this project.”

The training kick-off event on March 27 at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord was a large draw for professionals and had 274 nursing home staff in attendance. To date, seven nursing homes have completed one-on-one training at their facilities including Golden View Health Care Center, Hillsborough County Nursing Home and NH Catholic Charities Genesis Health Care.

Ninety-nine individuals from the Extended Learning Opportunities Network have participated as volunteers. A total of 74 nursing homes throughout the state are slated to participate in the program.

“The partnership between New Hampshire nursing homes and the Extended Learning Opportunities Network has been a positive experience for all involved,” said Roxie Severance, NH SPI health care sector advisor. “From the new activities for residents to offering students exposure to health care careers, to upskilling nursing home workers – everyone involved has benefitted in one way or another which will help address the workforce challenges faced by many of these health care companies.”

The Music & Memory Program directly supports SPI’s mission of helping companies identify solutions to shared workforce challenges. By exposing students to careers in the health care industry and existing health care workers to ways to improve their skills, workforce challenges are being identified and addressed.

Program fee for the Music & Memory Program: $250


  • Free on-site training
  • Free equipment
  • One-on-one program support

Find out how you can be part of New Hampshire’s health care industry success!

To get involved with SPI or learn about training opportunities in health care, visit the health care section of the SPI website.