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Evidence-Based Programs for Seniors

Seniors Participating in Music-Making Activities

“Playing instruments can bring back patients who have retreated from social life… 

They can get people to play together who can’t even talk to one another, It allows them to build community, with each other and with family members… Rhythm can also facilitate ambulation in stroke victims and those with late-stage dementia.

–Alicia Clair, Professor Emeritus of Music Therapy at the University of Kansas.

Positive RE:Percussions delivers high-quality, evidence-based, recreational music-making (RMM) activities focused on working with senior citizens residing in retirement, assisted living, skilled-nursing care, and memory care facilities. There are proven, significant, psychological, intellectual, social and emotional benefits that are inherent in actively participating in RMM activities. 

Group therapeutic drumming has been an effective activity for working with seniors in assisted living, seniors in memory care, and the well elderly.


There is a growing body of research that shows the positive impact of group therapeutic drumming on senior living/senior care facilities:


  • Creativity & Bonding in Long-Term Care Residents

  • Strengthening of the Immune System

  • Improving Fine and Gross Motor Skills

  • Reducing Cognitive Degeneration

  • Increasing Social and Emotional Development 

  • Encouraging Creative Self-Expression


Programs for Seniors in Memory Care


Research has shown that actively participating in RMM activities are instrumental in reducing illness and doctor visits in senior populations. Group therapeutic drumming especially can also improve cognitive and social activity and increase individual responsiveness and alertness.


Group therapeutic drumming allows everyone to express and experience rhythm. Rhythm is a fundamental part of human life.  Understanding speech and interpreting the actions of others requires our brains to continuously coordinate extraordinary amounts of rhythmic information received from our eyes and ears.


Research has shown that the brain’s musical pathways remain intact much longer then other areas of the brain even after speech and short-term memory fade. Actively participating in RMM activities stimulate these neuropathways and may greatly reduce or slow the process of deterioration in other areas of the brain.


Actively participating in RMM activities has been shown to enhance seniors overall creative self-expression and instill a new sense of well being. By improving hand-eye coordination, stimulating cognitive abilities and promoting wellness, our evidence-based activities may reduce the sense of isolation many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients must feel as their verbal communication skills deteriorate. 


Our evidence-based, group music-making programs allows family and their loved ones in memory care programs to reconnect through the incredible power of music. Playing music together creates the opportunity for a successful experience for families to re-connect with their loved ones through music, on a level that does not require the use of verbal communication. 

Parkinson's Disease and Stroke: 

Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, according to Michael Thaurt, director of Colorado State University's Center of Biomedical Research in Music. Also, researchers have also discovered that hearing slow, steady rhythms, such as drumbeats, helps Parkinson patients move more steadily (Friedman, “Healing Power of the Drum,” 1994).

A study demonstrates the efficacy of recreational music-making as a means of inspiring creativity and helping long term care residents bond.


As shown by a 2004 study of 550 independent living, skilled nursing, assisted living, and memory care participants; when the emphasis is on personal expression, group support, and quality-of-life enhancement, recreational music-making has great potential for engaging seniors in enjoyable, empowering, group-based activities that reduce loneliness, while building self-esteem, creative expression, and mutual support. 


As demonstrated by improved cognitive results, coupled with facilitator, staff, and resident impressions, the cost-effective group RMM activities was shown to have significant potential to play an important life-enhancing role in the aging continuum. 


Resident Observations


After completion of the program, many residents noted the immediate benefits of creating connections with staff and other residents. 


Several residents remarked that their ability to more effectively deal with the loss of a loved one or friend was enhanced through RMM sessions. 


A number of participants commented that RMM positively influenced their overall perspectives and expectations for living in a long term care environment. 


In addition, residents reported that RMM activities produced far more favorable effects, when compared with antidepressants or mood-stabilizing drugs.

Consider Positive RePercussions for your facility's residences. Contact us today to discuss how our exciting programs can benefit your organization.

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