SCES Music Therapy Featured on WGBH Innovation Hub

A Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) program that uses music to improve the quality of life for older adults was recently featured on a nationally-syndicated public radio show.

SCES staff and clients participated in a story titled “Can Music Improve Your Health?”, which aired on the WGBH program Innovation Hub on April 20.

The discussion focused on SCES Music & Memory, a grant-funded music therapy program that provides Ipods and personalized playlists for older adults.

Innovation Hub interviewed two SCES clients for the story, and they both reported decreased anxiety through reconnecting with some of their favorite music. Louisa Solano, of Cambridge, listed several positive memories associated with music during the interview, adding the new Ipod and playlist have been quite helpful.

“When I become really anxious, I play it and it really works,” said Solano. “It just creates this security that eliminates the need for any medication.”

Innovation Hub host Kara Miller meets with Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services client Louisa Solano to talk about what’s on her Ipod. SCES PHOTO

The segment, which can be accessed through the Innovation Hub website, also featured discussion with Music & Memory founder Dan Cohen, who has a background in both social work and technology. He founded the program as a music-loving volunteer in 2006, and has since seen it grow to a non-profit that has provided certification for more than 3,300 organizations worldwide.

The segment also featured interviews with Temple University music therapy professor Wendy Magee and former SCES Operations Manager Rory Silvia, who led the process of bringing Music & Memory to the agency.

Speaking after the segment aired, Silvia thanked Innovation Hub for spotlighting the program.

“I’m thrilled that two of our SCES clients, Louisa and Elsie, were able to be featured and talk about their music journey,” said Silvia. “Building their playlists gave me insight into who they are and I felt like I knew them before I even met them.”

“Music & Memory is just one of the ways that SCES uses innovative tools to improve the quality of life for our clients and I’m honored to have been a part of getting it off the ground,” she added.

SCES operations manager Rory Silvia (center) and Social Worker Cassie Cramer (right), during an interview with Innovation Hub to discuss the Music & Memory program. SCES PHOTO

Hosted by Kara Miller, Innovation Hub is a syndicated public radio program and podcast produced by WGBH. The weekly, hour-long show covers education, technology, culture, sustainable living, and business.

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is a non-profit agency that supports the independence and well-being of older people in Somerville and Cambridge. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or contact the SCES Aging Information Center at 617-628-2601 for free advice and guidance.