Creating Pathways: Why What You Teach Today Will Matter Far Into the Future


Bronwyn Hendy


Australian Journal of Music Education




This paper presents an account of current literature on the topic of music and memory, supplemented by qualitative research in the form of interviews with seniors who are living with dementia. Music is a strong memory trigger, often linked with emotion, and stored in parts of the brain that, for most people, still function after other memories have vanished. Strong, sequential aural-vocal musicianship education programs are linked to improvements in children's working memory and ability to retrieve long-term memories, as well as influencing their ability to learn language and better process other subject information. This paper suggests that using music education to give children a greater ability, inclination and aptitude for collecting musical memories across their lifetimes has the potential to increase their quality of life long into the future.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Children; Cognitive Abilities; Elderly; Interviews; Memory; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Quality of Life

Indexed Terms

Music Education; Teaching Methods; Quality of Life; Futures (of Society); Older Adults; Dementia; Emotional Response; Brain Hemisphere Functions; Short Term Memory; Language Acquisition; Cognitive Ability; Children; Well Being

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type