Alive Inside: A Story of Memory and Music



Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory is a 2014 documentary film directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett that won the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It showcases the effect of music intervention for old folks diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

It is a compelling journey of Dan Cohen, founder of Music & Memory, that plays personalised music on iPods for the seniors at nursing homes.

Words cannot do it justice, you have to witness how music lights up the spark for various seniors like Henry. At the start, Henry appeared a husk of himself and inert. It is astounding how he responded when the music played.

Neurologist Oliver Sacks explained in the film this phenomenon vividly demonstrated the power of music as the “quickening” art, a quote by the philosopher Kant. The music has rejuvenated Henry and his personality seemed to be resuscitated even after his headphones were taken away. He shared his passion for music and sang a stirring song “I'll Be Home For Christmas”.

The film implores us to reflect holistically about the quality care the elderly need and deserve. Besides keeping them alive “outside”, there should be additional caregiving past medical prescription for them to be alive “inside”.

Music offers hope. Change the mood, listen to music!


Text by: Lin Deyun/Licha Stelaus Productions


We believe Music is not a privilege but everyone's basic right. Check out our foundation website and see what we are doing to benefit youth.


Disclaimer: We are fans of great sound and music. We do not own the photos and videos in this blog - Licha Stelaus Productions

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