C&IS Student Founds New Student Org: Music and Memory

Sep 22, 2017

C&IS senior, Sarah Loper, (communication studies) is bringing Music and Memory to The University of Alabama. Music and Memory is a nonprofit that provides nursing home residents with therapeutic, personalized music.

She founded a campus chapter of Music and Memory with 26 other students in hopes of spreading awareness about the power of music and connectivity. Loper will lead the group in collecting iPods and donations throughout the fall semester to bring the donations to nursing homes in Tuscaloosa in time for the holidays.

Loper, whose great-grandparents suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s, discussed the importance of talking about this issue and shared her passion for those affected debilitating diseases affecting the memory.

“These are people’s family members, mothers and fathers,” said Loper. “I want Music and Memory Tuscaloosa to spread its impact all throughout Tuscaloosa county and beyond.”

Loper mentioned the amazing experience was especially touching when students are able to see how the music immediately affects patients.

“These patients can control their music and we’re giving them some of their independence back,” Loper said.

Loper, who has been involved with Music and Memory since 2013, will continue working as an ambassador for the program after graduation. She and wants to communicate the importance of this program to UA students from all majors. Nationally, Music and Memory has been reported as “substantially effective” in treating residents’ depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. This program was the subject of a 2014 documentary, “Alive Inside,” which won the Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

“A lot of cultures highly respect their elders, and I think we should think about how these people raised us, our teachers and community members,” said Loper. “We should give back to them and learn from them as well.”

The new group meets on the third Wednesday of every month in the basement of McClure Library at 6 p.m. To get involved with Music and Memory Tuscaloosa, visit the group’s Facebook page, here. You can learn more about the national organization by visiting their website.