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  • Writer's pictureThe Liliʻu Project

Makalapua Sung by John Signor and his Mother

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

John Signor & Flora Signor

My mom’s memory loss has declined significantly over the past decade, and she now suffers from advanced dementia. Although her memories are mostly gone, her sweet disposition remains, and she loves singing songs from her years of hula. Research has shown that music remains a powerful connector to memory, and I know from experience that this is true. While most research involves the use of recorded music with memory loss patients, I can attest to the remarkable connection that exists when the music is shared person-to-person, and that a genuine recognition and shared experience is the result. Music is the medicine to prescribe for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers, provided the music is from the patient’s life. If you know of a loved one who is exhibiting early signs of memory loss, create a set-list and begin the practice of sharing music. It’s not the words and melodies recalled that are significant, but the emotion and memories that come flooding back. It is one of the most important gifts we can give to those challenged with memory loss. This is a video of my mom and I singing Liliʻu’s mele inoa Makalapua. Music is medicine!

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