One iPod at a time, You can radically transform a life through personalized music

Quality Monitoring Program, Texas Health and Human Services

Download the brochure in PDF format.

The Healing Power of Music...

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes the power youth has to positively impact the lives of older Texans. We want to encourage HOSA members to get involved with the MUSIC & MEMORY program and radically change lives!

The MUSIC & MEMORY℠ program is an innovative approach to dementia care that uses personalized music to help people reconnect with the world and improve their quality of life. The program gives participating nursing home residents an iPod, managed by staff, that contains their own personalized playlist.

Familiar music helps to:

  • Revive memories in people with advanced dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
  • Provide an enjoyable and fulfilling activity for people with restricted movement.
  • Increase cooperation and attention, reducing resistance to care.
  • Reduce the need for antipsychotic medications.

"Alive Inside: A story of Music and Memory"

Founder Dan Cohen's remarkable journey in developing the Music and Memory program is captured in the compelling documentary, "Alive Inside," winner of the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Check out clips on YouTube, or watch the entire documentary on Netflix.

The need

No one wants to end up alone and isolated in a nursing home. It's hard to lose someone you love to Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, and it's scary to imagine that someday you could end up there yourself.

Unfortunately, as the population of the U.S. grows older, more and more people are affected by dementia and isolation.

  • Every 67 seconds, another person develops Alzheimer's.
  • Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 5th leading cause of death for those over the age of 65.
  • The U.S. has the highest usage of antipsychotic medications in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Alone and isolated no more

Give someone the gift of music, and watch their eyes light up. The immediate difference that listening to familiar music can make is powerful. A favorite song can calm chaotic brain activity, enabling someone with dementia to focus on the present and connect with those around them.

With the help of people like you — who share a love of music and compassion for others — people with dementia can tap into parts of themselves long forgotten through personalized music.

Get involved!

HOSA students can now participate in a new curriculum from HHS in partnership with the Texas Education Agency: “A Snapshot on Aging and Dementia.” Gain classroom and service-learning experience by volunteering in your community. Recruit volunteers from your local HOSA chapter and other student organizations.

  • Work with residents at certified Music and Memory facilities.
  • Interview residents and build personalized playlists.
  • Share personalized music experiences with residents by listening together.
  • Learn from residents, and develop new relationships and connections.
  • Share your time and skills to make a positive difference in someone’s life.
  • Expand the program at the care facility by holding a donation drive.

The service-learning volunteer experience helps fulfill service hour requirements for graduation or service organizations and is a great addition to college applications.

Volunteer! For Music & Memory volunteer opportunities in your community, contact the Texas Director of Student Programs:

We honor the service of volunteers

DADS Vision Awards

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) appreciates the service of volunteers and honors them each year through the Vision Awards. Exemplary service is recognized on a state-level in three areas — wellness, dignity and choice. HOSA students volunteering with the MUSIC & MEMORY℠ program can be nominated for recognition through the DADS Vision Awards.

“Volunteering helps you give back to the world and appreciate life. It’s an amazing opportunity.” Anastasia Peña, HOSA member

Anastasia Peña volunteers with a local nursing home as part of her school’s HOSA group. Every week, the group helps residents with the Music and Memory program.

“I’ve seen people break down,” Anastasia said. “They become so passionate about what they are listening to. They go back in time. You see the broken pieces of their hearts come back together. You see them alive again.”

Watch “Music and Memory: The Student Experience” on the QMP website.



Texas Health and Human Services Search for:

  • Quality Monitoring Program
  • Music and Memory Search for "Texas DADS Presents Information on Music & Memory."

Learn more about Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia

Alzheimer's Association:
Click on "Life with ALZ," and select "Kids and Teens."

Texas Health and Human Services:
Search for "Nurse Aide In-Service Education CBTs"