individual older adult therapy

Are you looking to support your parent or a resident in your care?

Do they need extra emotional, social, cognitive, or physical support?

We would love to support you and your older adult in maintaining or restoring their quality of life.

Why do people see us?


  • Improve mood

  • Support cognitive skills like memory and reality orientation

  • Maintaining speech or language skills

  • Maintaining physical activity

  • See more below...


"Noel of Anderson Music Therapy is extremely talented and knowledgeable! She has presented in service trainings to the staff members at Visiting Angels on two occasions. She was thorough, interesting and a great communicator.


She has impacted our Senior Care business with the importance of using music for our clients on a much more regular basis and we see fruits from her training! I’d wholeheartedly recommend her!"

Laurie Scogin, Owner of Visiting Angels Home Care

"Noel is a very knowledgeable, conscientious and compassionate music therapist. 

Her work as a consultant on the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra's Wellness Arts program helped shape it into an effective vehicle for service. 


Her expertise and thoughtfulness in the design of the program and thoroughness in the execution cannot be overstated. I've learned a lot from working with Noel and would highly recommend her to anyone."

Sarah Wardle Jones, Community Engagement & Education Director for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra

want to know more?

The Older Americans Act of 1992 included information on the provision of music therapy.


This act defined music therapy as; 


"the use of musical or rhythmic interventions specifically selected by a music therapist to accomplish the restoration, maintenance, or improvement of social or emotional functioning, mental processing, or physical health of an older individual.”


In addition, music therapy, in this act, is also considered a supportive and preventative health service and beneficial for the well older adult looking for an opportunity to exercise his/her body and mind and maintain his/her abilities to the fullest extent through drumming, playing the organ/keyboard (Yamaha’s Clavinova Connection) and other group-based music experiences.

How can music therapy support your older adult?


Music therapy can be an effective modality for older adults to help maintain and slow the regression of speech and language skills in the areas of expressive and receptive communication, choice-making, oral motor, sequencing, motor planning, answering questions, phonemic awareness, speech intelligibility and patterns of language.


As dementia or Alzheimer’s disease progresses, an individual loses his or her ability to speak, though many people are still able to sing favorite songs or hum.


Rhythm-based exercises paired with words can enhance speech intelligibility for the stroke patient or person with Parkinson’s disease.


Music can be used to maintain memory organization and thought processing. For instance, songs from an individual’s dating years may bring back memories and stimulate conversation.


A technique called Reality Orientation utilizes music-based experiences to help those clients who may be disoriented and confused by providing them with accurate and consistent information about their surroundings (e.g. helps them to remember the date, names of people, place of residence, etc.).


Specific music experiences can be designed to incorporate music and visuals (such as clocks, calendars, and seasonal items). Sensory Training, another technique, helps to restore a person’s contact with the environment through the senses (visual, auditory, tactile and sometimes even taste and smell).


When music (auditory) is combined with another sense, for example, visual, through holiday decorations, often memories can be triggered. Music experiences can also provide the acquisition of a new hobby (such as learning how to play the Clavinova) which studies show helps maintain health.



Music therapy can increase bonding with others, cooperation with family members and support staff. By connecting with others and participating in a meaningful activity, many can alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness.


Studies show that group bonding and interaction with others may be more important in determining our overall health than any other health parameter such as diet, exercise or our genes.


Group activities can promote positive, successful experiences with music while interacting with others. Successful experiences lead to increased self-esteem and foster self-expression and creativity.


Music therapy sessions can be a way for family members to spend meaningful time together in a creative, caring, and relaxing way either in the home or in a health care setting. It can bring intimacy for families through verbal and nonverbal interaction.


Singing, songwriting, and playing musical instruments facilitate the expression of emotions even for someone who is not able to verbalize how they feel. Participating in meaningful music- making or listening to music can help bring about changes in a person’s mood or the way they feel.


Music, dancing and movement activities can aid in maintaining walking endurance, improve range of motion, strength, functional hand movements and finger dexterity and improve limb coordination.


For instance, using instruments (such as drums) can be a motivating way to purposefully improve hand use, cross midline, and reach high/low.


Co-treatment with an occupational or physical therapist also may enhance the effectiveness of music therapy strategies.


Relaxation with music, toning (singing with vowels focused on a certain area in the body), and other techniques may help reduce the perception of pain and the need for pain medication.

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PO Box 20736

Roanoke, Virginia 

Call: 540.384.1677

Fax: 540.808.1582

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