The love for music is timeless by: Alie Settje

Man Listening to Music
Man Listening to Music

Alie Settje


The love for music is timeless. Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and so many more iconic artists have influenced the lives of people from so many different generations. The melody of a sweet song can lift the spirit of anyone. Music apps today are more targeted towards younger adults even though older adults love and need music just as much. Apps like Spotify and ITunes can be easily accessed and make a difference in the lives of anyone. Older adults can benefit form using Spotify and ITunes to listen to music or have access to other forms of media.


Older adults can benefit from Spotify and ITunes. These products can be accessed from a smart phone or a computer. Both products are generally the same, basically a collection of music. However, Spotify is a newer and more user friendly app. It is free to download and one can access millions of songs, artists or even make personal playlists. It can be accessed on a smart phone which, is extremely useful because then it is always ready for use, a operator can play any song right in their pocket. For example, an older adult wants to walk their dog and desire to listen to Elvis Presley, they can just type his name in the search bar and all his music will pop up, for free! ITunes is another music app. It is not free to download any songs. It can be accessed on a cell phone as well. The unique aspect of ITunes though is a user can buy and download movies, audiobooks, TV shows, or podcasts along with the music. This can be great for someone who may be going on a trip and want something to watch on the plane. Again, all the user has to do is search for their favorite movie in the search bar, make the purchase and then download it onto a computer, phone or both!


Older adults would be interested in these products

because everyone loves music. The are both are for entertainment. Itunes and Spotify are great and easy resources for older adults to listen to any music they want. Technology has come a long way since CD’s and radio’s were invented. Older adults will find these extremely useful because if they want to listen to music it would require them to go to a store and find a CD, put it in a CD player and can only listen to that one artist. Then, if they would want to put the CD on their mobile device like an MP3 player or Ipod it would require downloading and synching etc. Which is complicated for anyone, but especially someone who may not be familiar with technology. But, Spotify and ITunes allows downloading of any artist and song and put into any playlist extremely easily.

The Effects of Song Familiarity and Age on Phenomenological Characteristics and Neural Recruitment During Autobiographical Memory Retrieval is a research study about how music clips actually have an effect on our brains (Ford, Rubin, Giovanello, 2016). The study was designed to examine the effects of familiarity on phenomenological characteristics and neural recruitment during retrieval of autobiographical memories elicited by musical cues. In other words, the researchers wanted to examine the ability for one to recall a memory after listening to a familiar song. Participants rated a song on familiarity scale and then identified what the familiarity was associated with. The findings highlight important age-related shifts in how individuals retrieve their autobiographical events and how they relate to the music (Ford et al., 2016). They compared older adults to younger adults and selected the 10 most popular songs from a chosen amount of years and was then asked to retrieve the memories from the songs and report. Ford et al. (2016) found that older adults who were experiencing memory loss or were healthy were still recalling memories thus, demonstrating the value of highly familiar music as a retrieval cue. Further, behavioral and neuroimaging researchers highlighted important age-related distinctions in how music may be used to facilitate retrieval and familiarity was associated with an improvement of more cognitive features (Ford et al., 2016). Therefore, older adults should have easy access to music apps so they can improve their cognitive functioning, like memory.

The Effects of Physical Exercise with Music on Cognitive Function of Elderly People: Mihama-Kiho Project is a research article about how exercise mixed with music causes more positive cognitive functioning than just exercise alone. This can be a very compelling for an older adult to know because they may be more willing to get an app if they knew about the benefits (Satoh, Ogawa, Tokita, Nakaguchi, Nakao, Kida, Tomimoto, 2013). This study took 119 older adults ages 65-84 years old where 39 subjects were the control group and the rest did the trail. They did the trail for one year comparing the older adults who were exercising without music and those who were exercising with music. The researchers hypothesized that listening to music can enhance the effects of physical exercise and help overcome the effects of brain atrophy caused by normal aging and their research supported this. The group who listened to music were more likely to complete the desired exercise quicker, recall accurate memories, and improved their visuospatial function (Satoh et al., 2013). If listening to music can help memory loss, or even provide a sense of comfort to those who suffer from dementia, this should be enough for a caregiver or family member to quickly download the apps.

These studies support older adults listening to music by examining the many benefits that correlate with the music. Spotify and ITunes are perfect apps that can help an older adult with possible memory retrieval or exercise. Burzynska (2017) has mentioned many times the importance of physical exercise across the lifespan. The benefits of a healthy lifestyle may include, less likely to develop a disease like diabetes, live longer and boost overall physical health. If music can help encourage physical activity then Spotify and ITunes should be accessed by more of the older adult population. The music apps are extremely easy to understand so if a caregiver could give a quick tutorial on the app there would be no trouble downloading and searching for their favorite songs.

These products still have room for improvement if they want to be accessed and loved by all age groups. For example, ITunes is made specific for Apple users. Therefore, if an older adult has a PC computer and does not have an IPhone then this app cannot be downloaded. Additionally, ITunes required all of their music to be purchased. Older adults may not like that their money is going toward this. Furthermore, the apps are specific to smart phones accessibility, so if an older adult does not know how to use their phones it may take more time for them to understand the music. These limitations, however, do not outweigh the importance that music has; and the limitations should not be the reason to not take a chance on the apps.


It is true that we will all go through normal aging that may put as at a disadvantage in society. However, listening to and having access to music should not be a limitation older adults have to live with. Listening to music enhance memory, improve cognitive functioning and encourages exercise. Overall all older adults will benefit from using these two apps.


Burzynska, A. (2017). Retrieved from Colorado State University Canvas site for HDFS 312.

Ford, J., Rubin, D., Giovanello, K.s., (2016). The Effects of Song Familiarity and Age on Phenomenological Characteristics and Neural Recruitment During Autobiographical Memory Retrieval. American Psychology association. 26-3, 199-210. Doi: 10.1037/pmu0000152

Satoh, M., Ogawa J., Tokita T., Nakaguchi N., Nakao N., Kida, H., Tomimoto, H. (2013). The Effects of Physical Exercise with Music on Cognitive Function of Elderly People: Mihama-Kiho Project. Department of dementia prevention and therapeutics. 9-4. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095230



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