Alive Inside: Documentary Examines the Connection Between Music and Memory

Certain songs can recall a memory so clear, it’s as if it happened yesterday. That’s what happens when I listen to Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock.” That song comes on and I am instantly transported back in time to my childhood–my father singing in full volume with Elton as he drives us kids to a new adventure–a hiking trail we haven’t explored yet, or a creek he heard was still flowing with water despite the dry, desert summer. And, according to a new documentary, that powerful effect persists despite one’s age or cognitive decline.

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According to the film’s website, the documentary Alive Inside is “a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.” It continues:

Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.
This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”).
An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, ALIVE INSIDE’s inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. 

This inspiring documentary is currently being screened across the United States, with many upcoming dates throughout California. Check out the preview below, then peruse the screenings for a date and location near you.

Want more musical memory inspiration? Don’t miss CALA’s 2014 Fall Conference & Trade Show in Pomona, CA. On Wednesday, keynote speaker Maestro David Dworkin will lead attendees in an exploration of Conductorcise®, an activity for residents of all skill levels and cognitive functions that provides an upper body workout, teaches basic conducting techniques, improves listening skills, and educates about the lives and work of the great composers. Register now for the Fall Conference & Trade Show.


2 thoughts on “Alive Inside: Documentary Examines the Connection Between Music and Memory

  1. Pingback: Living Care Lifestyles Pilots Music Therapy Program for Residents with Dementia | The Hearth

  2. Pingback: Music and Memory | The Hearth

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