The Transformative Power of Music in Dementia Care
The Transformative Power of Music in Dementia Care with Stephen Hunt, CEO & Co-Founder at Music Health
Have you ever felt the transformative power of a familiar melody transporting you back to a cherished memory? My guest today is Stephen Hunt, he is the CEO and co-founder of Music Health, a company that brilliantly interweaves technology with music. Stephen shares how music can be a beacon of hope and connection, especially for those living with dementia. Stephen's journey into this mission began with a personal passion for music. From childhood aspirations of becoming a musician to the altruistic goal of pursuing music as a therapeutic tool.
Music Health's trailblazing product, Vera, is making waves internationally. The foundation of the Vera music app is deeply rooted in a personal story as Stephen's grandfather had Alzheimers. The lived experience and the observed challenges fueled the desire to create a solution that could make a difference in the lives of those living with dementia and their caregivers. This app employs AI technologies to delve deep into the tapestry of memory, retrieving invaluable moments from the past encoded in the songs that once stirred our emotions. With its recent launch in several nations, including Australia, Canada, and the US, Vera is on a mission not just to play songs, but to rejuvenate forgotten memories and touch the core of the human spirit, especially for those navigating the challenges of dementia.
Stephen shares the vision of 'tech with purpose', which is redefining the paradigm of music therapy. Today, we talk about the science behind this innovation, the anthropological history of music as a healing agent, and the app's tangible impact on its users as it's incorporated into daily life and can elevate the care experience. This provides meaningful benefits for both the recipient and the caregivers. Stephen shares how there has been great success working with professional caregivers in assisted living and aged care homes along with at-home caregivers. Music is powerful, it is meaningful, it offers moments of joy, memory and connection. Thank you, Stephen, for sharing the transformative power of music with us all.
Don't miss Stephen's recent TedxSydney talk:
The magic of 'Precision Music' for people living with dementia HERE!
Listen to our episode HERE.
Stephen shares about:
How he combined his passion for music and the healing arts to find his true calling in bringing music to transform dementia care
The ways that music has the ability to evoke cherished memories and serve as a beacon of hope, particularly for those living with dementia and their caregivers
The intersection of technology and music, how Music Health's unique approach to melding the worlds of melody and modern tech
The use of AI to delve into memory and retrieve moments encoded in songs, aiming to touch the hearts of those with dementia
The science behind music therapy and the historical role of music in healing
Music Health's vision: Redefining music therapy with 'tech with purpose' and the balance between scientific innovation and personal narratives
Where we can learn more
About Stephen Hunt & Music Health
Music Health is a mission-driven company made up of a world-class team of musicologists, scientific experts, serial founders and operators. Our AI-powered Precision Music® technology allows us to deliver the right music or sound to an individual at the right time to help modify their neurological or mental state of being. We believe that by helping people become more aware of when they're not doing so well and providing an easy prompt to change direction with the help of one of the most powerful brain stimulants, more people will start thinking about prevention rather than treatment.
Our first digital experience is called Vera (www.veramusic.com) - a music intervention tool to manage and prevent BPSD (Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia - like aggression, agitation or depression) which impacts 60 million families and close to 200 million caregivers.
Last year, Music Health was selected from over 1,300 companies to participate in the prestigious UC Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator program. The company graduated with a pitch to the early-stage investment community at the end of September 2022 in Berkeley. For more information visit Music Health at www.musichealth.ai
Stephen Hunt (GAICD) is a serial entrepreneur who created his first not for profit charity,
when he was 24 years old.
With extensive experience leading and operating businesses in the media, technology and
music industries, Steve is no stranger to a challenge having swum the English Channel and
finished a full length Ironman Triathlon on the side of building an impressive corporate
career. He established one of the first programmatic media businesses in APAC
(TubeMogul Australia Pty Ltd) where he was instrumental in not only growing the business
he represented but influencing the formation of the market itself.
Steve spent three years in the US where he helped launch the world's first Programmatic
Buying Platform for Television (PTV) and was on-stage at NASDAQ as TubeMogul Inc. went
public. It was later sold to Adobe for USD $540 million after which Steve returned to Sydney
and landed his dream job with Universal Music Group as a Managing Director where he
reimagined the business through the pillars of Media, Content and Emerging Technology
while driving innovative thinking through the organisation.
It is here where Stephen and Nicc first crossed paths and became friends. Now they are on
a mission to empower the world through music as a therapy.
“As a teenager, I watched my grandfather slowly slip away at the hands of Alzheimer’s and
more recently supported my grandmother through dementia before she passed. I inherently
knew how much music helped lift their moods and make them sparkle back to life when I
visited them but never understood why until I met Nicc (founder of Music Health). Now that I
understand the science and have seen first hand the amazing impact the right music can
have on people living with dementia, I can’t think of a better use of my time and energy than
seeing Vera widely deployed around the world making music as a therapy universally
available to those who need it.”
*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co. A boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at www.gigibettyco.com. Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!
We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.
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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.