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Alive Inside Uses Music to Connect with Audience


April 20


SSU’s Occupational Therapy Program held a special showing of “Alive Inside” April 8.

On Wednesday, April 8, Shawnee State University Occupational Therapy Program, with sponsorship from the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) and the Hill View Retirement Center, held a special showing of “Alive Inside” at the Clark Memorial Library’s Flohr Lecture Hall from 5 – 7 p.m.

“Alive Inside” won the 2014 Sundance Audience Award and is a documentary produced by Michael Rossato-Bennett that explores the healing power of music for people with dementia by following Dan Cohen, the founder and executive director of Music and Memory, in his quest to promote the use of personalized music to improve the lives of the elderly and infirm.

“The show “Alive Inside” is a great tool to demonstrate the power of music as a means to improve the quality of life of those living in nursing homes, particularly ones with onset dementia,” said Christine Raber, Ph.D, OTR/L, professor in the Master of Occupational Therapy Program. “After seeing the Ohio Department of Aging develop a quality peer initiative based on the program presented in “Alive Inside,” we wanted to bring that to the local community.”

Following the showing, a panel discussion board composed of Raber and fellow SSU professors, Virginia Pinson and Maggie Selby, along with Jamie Daniels, the Regional Ombudsman of AAA7 and Kaye Inoshita, the Ombudsman Program Director of AAA7, answered and explained any further questions about “Alive Inside.”

“We had around 120 people attend the film and subsequent discussion,” Raber said. “We had a real lively discussion following the film where people were interested about how they could get the program going as well as the logistics of the program.”

Overall, Raber says that the film and the panel discussion promote the idea of using personalized music to improve the overall quality of living for the elderly by using iPods or MP3 players to make an individualized playlist for the elderly who are in need of the musical therapy and specially tailor it to their interests and what kind of music has been important to their lives.

For more information regarding the “Alive Inside” documentary and the iPod drive the SSU Occupational Therapy program is hosting, contact Christine Raber by e-mail at craber@shawnee.edu or by phone at (740) 351-3530.


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