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Early Music, Early Memories, Long-Lasting Comfort


There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

“In My Life” was written by the Beatles (mostly John Lennon) and resleased in 1965 on the Rubber Soul Album. It is ranked 23rd on the Rollings Stones “The 500 Greatest Songs of all time”

Think back to your earliest childhood music memory – perhaps a toy that created a song, or someone who sang to you.  I remember spending endless hours spinning in the middle of the room as music would play around me.  Some of my earliest TV theme songs included:

The Friendly Giant

Mr Dress Up

Question: What are some of your earliest musical memories ?

Music serves as a potent trigger of retrieving memories – even those that seem to be long lost.

“What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head.” said Petr Janata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California, Davis. “It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye.”

This latest research could explain why even Alzheimer’s patients who endure increasing memory loss can still recall songs from their distant past.  As music therapists we strive to use this power behind music to bridge the individual with Alzheimers Disease to their well self and to those around them.  By providing an environment of comfort and familiarity mixed with company and focused attention seniors can and will retrieve some of their best memories with the aide of music.

Music can do that for us all.

Just For fun –  vintage Sesame Street with vintage Stevie Wonder

Question: What are some of your earliest musical memories ?



  • Singing the liturgy at church, singing to myself while swinging, singing while watching out the window for my dad to come home.

    • so great JoAnn! Just visited your site – MUSICSPARKS – good to meet you.

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Mom used to say that my favorite toys were pots and pans as I liked to bang on them but I also remember receiving musical toys. One was a metal pie with a crank on the side. The song played was “How Many Black Birds Baked in a Pie” The birds jumped out at me at the end of the song. Another favorite was a plastic dog that played, “HOw much is that doggie in the window”. Nothing jumped out at me so this was my very favorite…I played and sang with it over and over again. That little dog was my best friend. When its legs ripped open, I mended it with Duct Tape!
    These memories came back to me in Switzerland when I bought a beautiful music box which Sara now has. I think that I would have loved a player piano!

    **Looking forward to your presentation at Steppin’ Out! Kathy
    PS: I am really enjoying these newsletters!

  • My first musical memory: playing 12th Street Rag on the piano with my dad (I played the top, he played the bottom) I remember being in jammies with feet, and swinging my feet whilst sitting on the piano bench. My parents were having a party and they woke me up to play this duet with my dad. I suspect I was 5-ish. My earliest memory isn’t LEARNING 12th Street Rag, but PLAYING it with my dad. BTW, 12th Street Rag was #1 on the Hit Parade the year of my birth…

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  • My earliest musical memory: watching for the first time a live group playing ‘El Italiano”. After that I would sing my own version of the lyrics every time I went to the swing-seat.

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