Are you familiar with the work of the physician and author Oliver Sacks? You might be interested in his book “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain” if you have not read it.
I am not myself a certified music therapist, but I know they do work with children with autism among other things. Is your background in music therapy, and are you using this with the elderly? That is very interesting.
One anecdote I would like to share: there is a senior’s class I occasionally sub, which I also occasionally take when the regular teacher is in (I think it is good to see things from the participants point of view). She was playing a tape with the song “Blueberry Hill” and as I was in the back I could hear several of the ladies singing happily along as they exercised. I would have to say when I sub I bring old tapes (yes, I was teaching back in the cassette days) with broadway, and even classical music, and I get lots of thanks for the music.
I found that the type a music that the client enjoys can be of help. I have used it in pacing movement in a client with Parkinson’s. All of a sudden, some movements were possible that before were just labored.
I teach a water aerobics class in which I use classical music which has been composed for movement such as waltzes, polkas and marches. My participants love it, and I find it even inter-generational. Even younger participants sing and swing along even if they had never been exposed to that music.
Yes music can release long term memory stories, as I too have experienced with clients challenged by Parkinson’s Disease.
(The scientists drew a link between memory recall to musical tempo. A tempo of 60 beats per minute activates the right hemisphere of the brain, while the material being studied activates the left hemisphere of the brain. With both hemispheres activated, the brain can process information more efficiently.)