Music has a Noteworthy Impact

Improved Health

Healthy older adults who participated in a choral ensemble reported higher overall physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication use and fewer health problems than those with no musical activity.
NEA, The Arts and Human Development

Stronger Brain Function

Age-related delays in neural function can be avoided or offset with musical training.
Nina Kraus, Northwestern University 2012

Enhanced Well Being

Older adults actively involved in music show improvements with anxiety, loneliness and depression.
American Music Conference 2007

Better Memory

A study of adults between the ages of 60 and 85 years showed that after just six months of piano lessons, the group had robust gains in memory and verbal fluency compared to those who had not received lessons.
Jennifer Bugos, University of South Florida

MacPhail Makes a Difference

Cost Effective Solution

MacPhail Music for Life™ is a rare example of a cost-effective program that engages all six dimensions of wellness in older adults (physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, emotional and vocational). The program serves more than 1,600 adults aged 55+ with participatory, sequential music learning in both registration based programs at MacPhail’s five sites and through 30 community partnership locations.

Access to Music

For 10 years MacPhail Music for Life™ partnerships have brought the power of music to where older adults live and gather. Classes are customized to all care levels from ukulele classes for independent adults to singing classes for people in memory care.

Tailored Programs

MacPhail’s programs are tailored to meet the needs and interests of healthy, 55+ adults with welcoming, joy-filled instruction in classes, ensembles and 1-on-1 lessons.

WE HAVE A PLAN – We want you to play a part.

Help harness the power of music for the growing number of older adults in our community. Your support can provide access to enriching music learning programs proven to increase their health and well being.
Give Music

Offerings for Adults 55+


How it Works

Increased Health

appleOlder adults who participate in music classes develop health-promoting behaviors such as physical and mental stimulation, social engagement, self-mastery and stress reduction. This can help prevent cognitive decline and have profound effects on quality of life and a reduction in healthcare costs. Bill, for example, joined the MacPhail Music for Life™ singing class at Episcopal Homes after he suffered from paralyzed vocal chords. The class not only strengthened his voice, it helped him feel more confident and connected to other adults like his new friends Doris and Marijo. “Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” says Don.

Stronger Brain Function

brain-functionParticipating in music strengthens pathways in the brain involved in movement, planning, attention and memory. Music is meaningful to our brains because it’s repetitive, melodious and organized. Because we like repetition, our brains naturally predict what happens next based in a pattern like the beat of a song. This is how we end up tapping our toes – and how we build new pathways in the brain. Music built new pathways for Rosemary, when health declines left her unable to speak. After participating in MacPhail Music for Life™ at her care center she started talking again, first by singing people’s names, then speaking in full sentences.



Pat, 63 years, Adult Individual Instruction:

After retiring as a lawyer...

Faces Adult Story Pat
Student Stories Episcopal Homes


Episcopal Homes

For Doris, Marijo and Bill, Monday is the best day of the week.