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The Effortless, Calming Magic of Mantra and Music

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Listening to music you love is a powerful antidote to stress. Pre-pandemic—when I used to leave the house—I would occasionally sing at nursing homes with my partner, Janet, on piano.

We played jazz standards for a very captive audience at a Memory Care unit serving senior men and women—nearly all in wheelchairs and most suffering from severe dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

But, once in a while, something magical would happen. I would start singing a classic from the great American songbook, like “Dream a Little Dream” or “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and, suddenly, a woman who just moments earlier seemed completely lost to the world would come alive.

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