BRiTE program's first national coverage: "Innovative program aids older adults with mild memory loss."
by Tony Dearing
PITTSBURGH -- Two days a week, Jennie Dorris raises her baton to help an unlikely group of musicians melodize their way to better brain health.
Few of her students have previous musical training. Their concern is more medical. They've been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, and the marimba lessons she leads on Mondays and Fridays are part of an innovative wellness program designed to help slow their memory loss.
Research has shown music can be instrumental (pun intended) in keeping our mind sharp as we age.
So when scientists at the University of Pittsburgh set out to create a program aimed specifically at people with MCI, the idea of including a marimba class struck the right chord.
"We chose these types of instruments because they are very visual, and you can sort of feel like you're playing a game while you're learning a melody," Dorris says. "This is a really unique way to connect with people who want to work on their memory."