4 Music Activities for Seniors and How It Can Benefit Them

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The universal language of music unites people of all ages. More specifically, music activities may provide the catalyst for closer family ties. If you know music’s value for both physical and mental health, you will appreciate this much more.

Today, 12 Oaks has compiled a list of four easy but entertaining music activities that you and your family can enjoy doing together. Plus, learn more about how these activities can benefit your family.


Music Activities That Benefit You and Your Beloved Elderly Family Members

How Do Music Activities Benefit Senior Citizens?

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Reduce Stress

Stress levels escalate depending on the excessive cortisol levels in your body. However, music can help keep them under control. According to research, listening to music lowers cortisol levels, which can lessen the intensity of the fight-or-flight reaction.

Moreover, music stimulates the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. When we engage in music-related activities, more neurotransmitters called dopamine will be released, boosting motivation and enhancing our mood.


Enhance the Quality of Sleep

Stress and high cortisol levels might make people more alert and have difficulty falling asleep. As mentioned above, music therapies help release tension and anxiety by reducing stress hormones, leading to better sleep performance.

According to a Meta-Analysis published in 2020, relaxing, soothing music can help improve the quality of sleep in seniors. Researchers looked at music therapy’s effectiveness in those in their 60s and beyond. The result showed that those who regularly listened to music had considerably better sleep quality than those who did not.

Music might benefit our minds in different ways, including lowering blood pressure, slowing respiration and heart rate, and reducing anxiety.

Additionally, listening to music helps speed up the process of falling asleep. Participants in a study of women experiencing insomnia listened to music before bedtime. The findings revealed that the time it took for them to fall asleep after applying the music therapy was shortened by half.


Relieve Dementia Symptoms

According to a review, music therapy has been used as a powerful treatment for improving cognitive function in people with dementia. Some studies emphasize the beneficial effects of music on the brain.

Multiple findings have demonstrated that for individuals with dementia who appreciate music, their enjoyment is maintained even when verbal communication is no longer feasible. They also claimed that musical treatments positively impact behavior, mood, and cognition.


Connect People

It has been believed that a function of music is the ability to forge and strengthen social ties among members of an interacting group. In other words, doing music activities in a group fosters social relationships. This connection occurs due to the music’s rhythmic ability to create brain synchronization.

For instance, by joining a dance club or simply singing a song together, the music causes the distance between people to get smaller. Or even when we share a similar opinion of a song’s meaningful lyrics or a catchy melody, our thoughts are likely to be connected, making it simple to empathize and communicate with one another.


Improve Physical Health

Your parents can benefit physically from several musical activities that call for mobility.

For example, dancing relieves stress while assisting your elderly family members in maintaining their muscle strength and strong bones, enhancing their posture, increasing their balance, and improving any weaknesses they may have.

Music affects our hormones, which calms the nervous system and impacts biological processes. The chosen tempo, rhythm, or style of the music will significantly affect your heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure. For example, the slow tempo helps moderate the body’s function, decompressing it from an overactive nervous condition.


4 Music Activities You and Your Seniors Will Enjoy Doing

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Listening to Music

Listening to music before bed helps us concentrate on the sounds rather than our rushing thoughts or outside noises. In other words, calming music can act as a sound barrier against outside noises by masking the sounds from your neighbors or passing cars.

Remember to choose songs that are age-appropriate for your parents to listen to. Seniors are more inclined to enjoy music from their era than the current top songs. Additionally, upbeat tunes and relaxing but cheerful songs are good choices. Sad songs are unlikely to lift seniors’ spirits. Instead, upbeat music can help people forget about their problems and allow them to revisit happy memories.



Besides physical health advantages, dancing also benefits your seniors’ memory. Memorizing steps makes it an excellent brain workout. A study found that frequent dancing had a significant impact on improving total cognitive skills. In addition, the research revealed that dancing had the strongest correlation of any evaluated activity, with a 76% decreased incidence of dementia in test individuals.

Therefore, dancing will be a good idea if your elderly family members struggle with memory loss but their bodies still allow them to engage in physical activities. It helps develop “muscle memory,” whereby the body particularly remembers movements and music.


Playing ‘Guess That Song.’

You can modify the rules depending on your preferences, the number of participants, and the memorization skills of your family members. If your family is unfamiliar with this game, adhere to the basic guidelines below:

  • Choose a bystander responsible for playing pre-selected songs for everyone to guess the name. The rest will be divided into two teams.
  • Each song will be played only for a few seconds. Two teams must win the right to guess.
  • In case no team can answer, the music will continue to play a little longer, or the bystander will give them a hint.
  • The team that correctly guesses the most songs wins.



Your elderly family members can significantly benefit from singing. Regular singing can improve your family’s spirits, boost immunity, and provide your brain and lungs with a physical workout. These advantages are crucial for people with mild to moderate dementia as well. In addition, if learning movements and steps are necessary for dancing, singing requires people to memorize lyrics and beats.

After dinner, spend some time with your family singing along to well-known songs or, if possible, composing music together. These beautiful memories will all last a lifetime, strengthening the relationship between family members and fusing various viewpoints into one.


How Can 12 Oaks Help Seniors Engage in Music?

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12 Oaks aims at enriching lives via the universal language of music, providing various music activities to senior communities in need to amuse, promote social connection, and create shared delight.

All living and social spaces at the 12 Oaks communities are specifically crafted to nurture entertainment, comfort, and convenience. Your beloved family members will have countless opportunities to build new friendships. In addition to music, we offer numerous other activities, including exercise classes, workshops, and tours to local community centers. Our dedicated staff provides individualized support and attention to our residents to help them lead fulfilling, healthy, and balanced lives.


If you have questions about music activities for seniors or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more. 

At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.

For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us. 


Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.

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