This Spring, WDRT began organizing it’s Songs to Memory Project. Modeled after the well-known Music & Memory Program, this exciting new initiative will bring music into the lives of elderly or infirm individuals. A group of WDRT volunteers will work with residents of Bethel Home & Services in Viroqua who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, sharing with them personalized music playlists in order to improve their quality of life.
Musical memory is profoundly linked to emotions. These memories are stored deep in the brain. While Alzheimer’s and dementia damaged the ability to recall facts and details, it has been found that connections between music and memories endure.
When individuals suffering from memory-related disease hear a melody connected with a meaningful memory, some can re-awaken to life. Many people who have not spoken in years find words and sing lyrics. They often regain the ability to converse and connect to those around them. The calming and centering effects of listening to music can also result in a marked reduction in the need for prescription drugs and improve their overall condition.
With financial support from Gundersen Health Systems and Vernon Telephone Cooperative, and in partnership with Bethel Home & Services, WDRT will begin its Songs to Memories Project this April/May.
Community volunteers will work with individuals living in Bethel Home, developing personalized playlists to share with them, while documenting the process. The station will conduct a series of workshops to teach volunteers how to use portable digital recorders, sound production editing tools, and develop skills in journalism and broadcasting.
WDRT will create on-air programming that encapsulates and documents the unique responses to this exciting project. The final programs will include voice recordings of volunteer and participant interactions, some personal histories and examples of musical selections unique to each client.
The project’s long-term goal is to be able to provide this service to other local area care facilities. Expansion of this mission-driven project will provide a significant service to area residents, contribute to meaningful locally-produced programming and widen the network of WDRT listeners, volunteers and supporters.
As a community radio station, WDRT serves the public through the power of media. The Songs to Memories project drives to the heart of our values and our purpose.
If you are interested in learning more or offering a financial donation specifically earmarked for this project, please contact Toril Fisher at email@example.com or 608-638-9378.
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