Music therapy helping seniors

Medford, Ore.-They’re songs you just cant stop your feet from tapping to.

“They just have a way of engaging everyone,” Pamela Jones, resident care manager at Northridge Foster Home said.

Donny Roze is the founder of Heart and Hope Music and has been playing music to seniors for nearly 12 years.

“We really enjoy having him,” Jones said.

Donny started the program when he sang to his mother-in-law while she was in foster care and saw how it made a difference in her.

“It strikes memory you see that when a song strikes home,” Jones said.

Donny and his wife visit Northridge Foster Homes twice a month and play a variety of jazz, folk and patriotic songs for the senior citizens.

“It warms my heart that’s all I can say,” Jones said.

As Donny strums along on his guitar, Jones says she loves seeing her patients light up.

“The one gentleman there hasn’t participated before but today getting to shake the music, he was even doing it in between when the music had stop,” she said.

It’s not the first time Donny has seen music impact someone.

“Almost every time is a magic time,” he says.

He once met a woman named Louise who suffered a stroke. Louise had a condition where she would repeat the same words over and over.

“She says hurry hurry hurry,” said Donny.

But when Donny started singing it was Louise who shocked everyone.

“She sang along every word in pitch in rhythm,” he said.

Donny says being able to give people a piece of their life back is why he plans on playing music for as long as he can.

“When they pry my guitar from my cold dead hands is when I’ll stop,” Donny said.

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