Frequently Asked Questions

Why are some people more affected than others? How can we slow the progression of degenerative disease?

  • ​Over the past few years, I have been teaching InstruMix classes with independent living, assisted living and memory care facilities. I have seen people transitioning from lower levels of care to higher levels of care.  This has given me the opportunity to see the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia in an individual firsthand. Sometimes the progression is slow, and sometimes the difference is astonishing month to month.  Sometimes the decline is so rapid the clients and the participants are hardly recognizable in a matter of months. This begs the question, why some people are more affected than others, and how we can slow the progression of degenerative diseases. It reminds me how important programs like mine are.

  • Studies have shown the benefits of exercise in slowing the progression of all types of disorders.  Exercise is a key factor in keeping people of all ages healthy in the mind and body.  Exercise not only slows the progression of diseases, but also decreases the likelihood of diseases developing. There are numerous studies that show the benefits of playing music.  Not only does it improve concentration and memory, but it also has a positive effect on our emotions. ​

How often should I conduct the InstruMix class?

  • ​It is such a delight when I see improvement in the people I work with.  This happens most often in facilities where I come once a week or more. When I first started teaching the InstruMix program, I was so surprised to see that people with Alzheimer’s and dementia can still learn new things. Groups of participants that were once eating the instruments and throwing them around the room began to shout “MUSIC” or “music lady is here” when I walked in the door.  After a few weeks they all began to use the instruments in the appropriate way and became quite cooperative as compared to our first class. I love to see the engagement, participation and learning that occurs when the InstruMix program is done regularly. Coordination improves, range of motion increases, and a joyful energy exudes the group.

Will this work for me, for my situation?

  • ​I love that I have been able to have a positive impact on so many people’s quality of life. Sometimes when I walk into facilities, there’s a lack of energy in the room. It seems somber, boring and lifeless. When I start a class, especially in a facility that I’ve never been to before, it is very common to have a third or less of the people participating. But it always warms my heart to see about 95% of the people participating at the end of the class, with smiles on their faces and their eyes twinkling. You can feel the energy in the room has lifted, and the people are buzzing with excitement, happiness and joy.

  • Time and time again, people have come up to me before or after the class and told me how much of an impact my class has had in their life. I remember a stroke patient showing me how she could touch her thumb to each one of her fingers, she was excitedly explaining that she had no movement in her entire left side, but since she started my classes she can tap her foot, and move her arm and fingers.

  • As I walked into another class, a woman told me she is so glad that I’m here, because she feels better a week after my class.

  • Another woman came to me after a class and told me that she doesn’t feel pain in her left leg when she walks anymore and she knows it’s from participating in my class. Working with this population has been nothing short than life-changing! I have received so much encouragement from the participants and facility employees to continue what I’m doing because it is so important for the elderly to have quality programming that will have a positive impact on their health and well being. Plus, it’s so much fun that everybody involved is enjoying themselves.

Have you ever heard the saying, "if you don't use it, you'll lose it?"

  • ​It’s so true, and that is why it’s so important to keep the mind and body stimulated. The InstruMix program is fun and engaging and incorporates movement of the body and playing beat patterns on instruments, which stimulates the mind. If you are taking care of elderly family members or work with the elderly population and you are wondering how to keep them healthy and happy, you came to the right place. The topics we cover in the InstruMix Teacher Training are principles that you can incorporate into all activities.  Plus we will give you materials and guides for you to be successful immediately.

What does an InstruMix class look like? What instruments do you use?

  • See the video below for an inside look into a class!

  • Our instruments include bells, scarfs, castanets, egg shakers and rhythm sticks.