Music and Memory

The Music First project involves an interdisciplinary, inter-professional and inter-institutional team of professors and students across Butler’s campus in Music, Psychology, Pharmacology, Communications, and Physics, alongside neuroscientists, geriatric psychiatrists and physicians, memory care specialists, nursing home directors and executive directors, in partnership with Butler’s Center for Citizenship and Community to explore the neuroscience of music in ways that were not possible until recently.

Our methodology is to integrate teaching, learning and applied research within and between our disciplines, professions and institutions.  This holistic methodology is evidenced by the launch of new and innovative curricular offerings in Butler University’s Natural World required core, building collaborative support from health care institutions and external experts, working under the auspices of Butler’s Office of Institutional Research, our Institutional Review Board authorization and CITI training, all coordinated through Butler’s Center for Citizenship and Community.  Indeed, Tim Brimmer, our Principal Investigator, has migrated away from a career in performance and pedagogy toward researching music and neuroscience.

In 2016, the Music Fist project received funding from the Indiana State Department of Health to conduct an extensive research project to demonstrate the validity of music as a non-pharmacological intervention for patients with dementia.