by Brenda Bonin
Have you experienced a piano or sing-along at one time or another? These fun programs are popular on cruises, in resorts, and in various types of entertainment venues. Now, Dennis Elmer brings the joy of music and memories into your home or anywhere you can connect to the internet. Designed specifically for senior audiences, his entertaining live shows bring back memories of special times.
Introducing Elmer’s Tunes
Dennis Elmer, the founder of Elmer’s Tunes and a talented pianist from Nashville, Tennessee performs all-time favorites from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s in an intimate piano bar-style program delivered via streaming video. All that’s needed on your end is a computer, tablet, or phone connected to the internet. Watch and listen on your device with earphones or connect to your big-screen TV. The upbeat tunes he sings while he plays the piano make people feel good, which is his goal. You and/or your elderly loved one can enjoy the show live or instead watch the recorded program later at a more convenient time. Either way, you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing and dancing along with the music!
About the Founder, Dennis Elmer
I had the opportunity to visit with Dennis and truly enjoyed his passion and energy. I learned he played music most of his life, in various forms of rock, swing, big band, and jazz ensembles. Originally from New Orleans, Dennis began entertaining audiences in country clubs and dinner clubs as a young adult to help pay his way through college. In addition to the keyboard, he also plays saxophone and drums and has a career in the management of radio stations. All in all, a very talented guy.
Why Dennis Started Elmer’s Tunes: Music for Seniors
Dennis not only loves sharing his music with others, but he also strives to help people feel more confident, cheerful, and connected to the world around them. It’s well-documented that music provides many health benefits for older adults, particularly for those with memory loss. Old familiar songs can help individuals recall memories and emotions. Music also promotes happiness and can serve as a wonderful distraction to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and may stop someone from focusing primarily on their pain or fatigue. In addition, for caregivers, singing and dancing along with a loved one can open up channels for communication and interaction. Dennis works diligently to improve the quality of life for seniors through Elmer’s Tunes.
Elmer’s Tunes Features
Elmer’s Tunes is a fun and unique platform with wonderful features that make it a great gift for an elderly loved one.
Creative Show Themes
Each show has a creative theme, thoughtfully constructed by Dennis, that pulls together thematic tunes for a backdrop to the show. For example, he incorporates themes such as weather, cars, money, and more. He shares the background of each song, some about the artist and what was happening when the song came out, and a short explanation about how each song fits with the theme. He delivers each show with great humor and heart.
I enjoyed hearing the introductions sometimes as much as the songs. For example, the “Lucky Me” show included some classics from the Rat Pack such as Luck Be a Lady by Frank Sinatra and Ain’t That a Kick in the Head by Dean Martin. A show with the theme “Home” included a range of artists from Nat King Cole with Walking My Baby Back Home to John Denver with Country Roads Take Me Home, and one of my favorites from Simon and Garfunkel, Homeward Bound.
Dennis encourages the audience to participate. Most of the tunes are upbeat and listeners will find it hard to sit still. You will most likely want to tap your toes, clap your hands, stomp your feet, or get up and dance. Singing along is always encouraged, even if you don’t remember all of the words.
Listeners can even make song requests in real-time before or during the live show. Listeners can call or text to request their favorites. In keeping with the intimate piano bar setting, Dennis gives a shout-out to listeners who make requests,
Considerations for Caregivers
Music is more available today than ever before. If you are a caregiver for an older adult, your smartphone, tablet, or computer may become one of the most helpful tools you have to tap into the benefits of music for seniors. We know music can enhance the lives of older adults in many ways and improve connections between them and their caregivers.
Caregivers can introduce Elmer’s Tunes anywhere to those they care for to provide a unique experience. Older adults can enjoy the programs individually with their caregiver, or in group settings, such as in an assisted living or memory care community.
Here are some of the reasons music caregivers should incorporate music into the lives of older adults.
Music has the power to evoke emotions and memories, providing a sense of nostalgia and comfort.
Listening to music engages various areas of the brain, promoting cognitive function and potentially slowing down cognitive decline.
Music can be a great way for seniors to connect with others, whether through shared musical experiences or participating in group activities like singing or dancing.
Music can stimulate movement and physical activity, helping to maintain or improve mobility and coordination.
Listening to calming music can reduce stress and anxiety levels, promoting a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
Upbeat and lively tunes can uplift spirits and contribute to a positive mood, reducing feelings of loneliness or depression.
Relaxing music can create a soothing environment, potentially improving sleep quality for seniors.
Why Elmer’s Tunes is Fantastic for Groups or Parties
When gathered as a group, it’s fun to cast shows on the big screen TV. This activity is great for a family gathering, holiday celebration, birthday party, or music night. Nothing brings people together better than live music where everyone can sing along.
Elmer’s Tunes seems like a perfect addition to programming for large groups both at home and in an older adult community. Add sing-along piano bar night for something different from bingo, trivia, or movie night. You can even pass the microphone around and ham it up!
Ease of Use
I found the website super easy to navigate, nothing tricky or unclear. However, older adults who are unfamiliar with the internet or who have cognitive issues will likely need assistance to set up.
I asked both my 87-year-old Mom and my 94-year-old Mother-in-law to listen to a program or two of Elmer’s Tunes. With the help of their caregivers, they took a listen. My mother-in-law said she enjoyed listening without needing to see the video, as her eyesight is not very good. Her favorite was Tom Jones’ Green Green Grass of Home. My mom said it was fun and that Dennis was a good entertainer. She also commented that “some songs were better than others”. As she is a musician herself, she is a bit more meticulous. My sister-in-law, the caregiver for my Mother-in-law, mentioned that it was fun to hear some tunes she hadn’t heard in decades. One of Dennis’s listeners shared that she had once won a jitterbug contest. Listening to the Dance Songs show reminded her of that fun experience that she had all but forgotten.
Performance and Streaming Quality
I listened to the program on both my laptop and cell phone and had no problems. Dennis suggested some folks may want to listen with headphones, but I felt the sound was very good without them.
Why Elmer’s Tunes Makes a Great Gift at a Great Value
For your elderly loved one who doesn’t need or want anything, you can purchase an Elmer’s Tunes subscription, a fantastic source of joy and well-being, for only $6.99/month. The program is well worth trying for yourself or a loved one at that price. The cost is even less if you sign up for an annual subscription for $69.99.
It’s a great gift for a music lover, caregiver, or anyone who would enjoy the memories that the songs can bring back. It’s a gift that keeps giving all year long, as subscribers can listen to recorded shows any time and multiple times as well as tune in to the live shows.
Why subscribe today? Dennis describes a subscription to Elmer’s Tunes as a gift of memories and provides the following reasons to purchase one.
- Nostalgic music exercises memory.
- They want to sing along.
- Music improves mood.
- Dancing (while standing or sitting!) is good exercise.
- Clapping in rhythm is a healthy exercise.
- The live request phone number includes them in the show.
- You’ll get a one-hour break!
- Your loved one will smile.
The Bottom Line
I thoroughly enjoyed Elmer’s Tunes and am smiling just thinking about my experience. This means Dennis delivered on his goal of leaving listeners feeling good! Highly recommend. To learn more and subscribe head over to ElmersTunes.com. Serve up those snacks and beverages and get ready to party!
ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY
Win a free 3-month subscription to Elmer’s Tunes!
Submit this form by midnight on NOVEMBER 23, 2023, to enter the drawing to a FREE 3-month subscription. Five people will be chosen randomly.
FAQs About the Benefits of Music for Seniors
Here are some questions we hear from our readers about the benefits of music for seniors.
Is there a specific genre of music that is more beneficial for seniors?
Preferences vary, but generally, music that holds personal meaning or is familiar to the individual tends to have a more significant impact. We generally recommend calming or uplifting genres.
Is there a recommended duration for listening to music each day?
There’s no strict rule, but incorporating music into daily routines, even for short durations, can have positive effects. The key is consistency.
Can music help with pain management in seniors?
Yes, music therapy has been used to alleviate pain and discomfort in seniors by providing a distraction and promoting relaxation.
Is there an age limit for starting to engage with music for its benefits?
No, it’s never too late to start enjoying the benefits of music. Older adults of all ages can experience positive effects from incorporating music into their lives.
How can caregivers use music to address behavioral and emotional challenges in patients?
Music can serve as a tool to manage and redirect challenging behaviors, as well as to evoke positive emotions, providing a holistic approach to care.
Does music have a positive impact on caregiver well-being?
Absolutely. Music helps caregivers who take care of older adults too. Music helps reduce caregiver stress, increase feelings of connection, and contribute to a more positive caregiving experience.